The Pentagon is the “single largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world,” according to a new study about climate change that accuses the Trump administration of being in “various modes of denial” about it.
The report, from Brown University’s ‘Costs of War’ project, focuses specifically on “post-9/11 wars” and their impact on emissions. It estimates the US military has been responsible for 1,212 million metric tons of greenhouse gases between 2001 and 2017. Emissions from “overseas contingency operations” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria accounted for more than 400 million metric tons of CO2. In 2017 alone, the report says, “the Pentagon’s emissions were greater than all emissions from Sweden or Denmark.”
From 2001 to 2017, the Pentagon’s emissions totaled 766 million metric tons, according to a new Brown University report.
That makes the U.S. military by far the world’s largest institutional oil burner and polluter.
— Alexander Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) June 12, 2019
The effects of climate change will soon be “feeding political tensions and fueling mass migrations and refugee crises,” the report says, noting that the military has already added climate change to its list of national security concerns.
The researchers criticized the Pentagon for acknowledging the threat of climate change to national security, but failing to acknowledge “that its own fuel use is a major contributor.” They also accused “some elements” within the Trump administration of being “in various modes of climate denial.”
While the military received praise for making some effort to decrease its energy consumption, including by gradually replacing some non-tactical fleet vehicles with hybrid, plug-in or alternative fuel vehicles, reducing idling, and developing solar installations at some bases, the report says there is “room for more reductions.”
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The study found seven major sources of greenhouse gas emissions relating to US military activities, including from installations and non-war operations, war-related emissions and emissions from the production of weapons.