Wars harm climate action because large militaries emit a lot and military spending diverts money away from tackling climate change

By Nick Buxton and Deborah Burton, Climate Change News

The failure of the richest countries to meet their 2009 commitment to provide $100 billion in climate finance to impoverished and climate vulnerable countries has long sowed distrust and hindered climate negotiations.

Ukrainian soldier stands on the check point to the city Irpin near Kyiv during the evacuation of local people under the shelling of the Russian troops.

The broken promise is even more stark, given President Biden’s request to Congress this October for $105 billion additional funding to pay for Israel’s devastating war on Gaza and to support Ukraine against Russia.

Resources that never materialise to address the climate emergency seem to be easily available when it comes to supporting wars. As we approach the UN climate talks in Dubai, the impact of war and the military on the climate can no longer be ignored.

Big Emitters

The failure to assess the military contribution to climate change historically is partly deliberate.

The US government in 1997 said it would only sign the Kyoto agreement if the military were explicitly exempted from reporting and reducing emissions.

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