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  • Rick Bonetti

Military Contribution to Climate Change

On January 9, 2024 The Guardian published an article, Emissions from Israel’s war in Gaza have ‘immense’ effect on climate catastrophe. referencing a study that shows the "first months of Israel/Gaza conflict produced more planet-warming gases than 20 climate-vulnerable nations do in a year",

The study noted the asymmetry "during the first 60 days of Israel’s military response equivalent to burning at least 150,000 tons of coal compared with Hamas rockets fired into Israel during the same period generating CO2 equivalent to approximately 300 tons of coal."

Globally, "militaries account for almost 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually – more than the aviation and shipping industries combined. This makes the global military carbon footprint – even without factoring in conflict-related emission spikes – the fourth largest after only the US, China and India."

Steven Böhm and Sian Sullivan are editors of a 2021 online book, Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis which "brings together 28 essays by over 60 researchers from around the world, who are concerned about climate change." The collection includes a 2019 essay: The Carbon Bootprint of the US Military and Prospects for a Safer Climate by Patrick Bigger, Cara Kennelly, Oliver Belcher, and Benjamin Neimark saying "The US military is one of the largest institutional polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more climate-changing gases than most medium-sized countries... the US military operates more than 800 bases around the world through its ‘lily-pad’ network that renders all the globe a potential theatre of war." While "There have been attempts to ‘green’ aspects of its operations by increasing renewable electricity generation on bases... it remains the single largest institutional consumer of hydrocarbons in the world."

The Climate and Community Project (CCP) is a US-based climate policy think tank calling for a "cease-fire now and forever... no climate justice without Palestinian freedom and self-determination."



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