The Pentagon emits a staggering level of greenhouse gases, study finds

James Marshall
June 14, 2019

Despite recent efforts aimed at energy efficiency, the Pentagon still emits more greenhouse gas emissions than all of Portugal or Sweden.

"If it were a country, it would've been the world's 55th largest Carbon dioxide emitter - with emissions larger than Portugal, Sweden, or Denmark", said the study's author and political scientist at Boston University Neta Crawford. "The DOD is the single largest consumer of energy in the US, and in fact, the world's single largest institutional consumer of petroleum".

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 Pentagon, which oversees the U.S. military, released about 59m metric tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in 2017, according to the first study to compile such comprehensive data, published by Brown University. But "in any one year, the Pentagon's emissions are greater than many smaller countries total greenhouse gas emissions", noted the study.

Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project, estimates us military emissions-which largely come from fueling weapons and equipment as well as operating more than 560,000 buildings around the world-from 1975 to 2017, relying on data from the Energy Department because the Pentagon does not report its fuel consumption numbers to Congress.

"There is a lot of room here to reduce emissions", she said.

"Absent any change in US military fuel use policy, the fuel consumption of the USA military will necessarily continue to generate high levels of greenhouse gases", the paper warns.

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.

First, the USA would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Though the researcher said they could reduce them further by cutting fuel-heavy missions to the Persian Gulf to protect access to oil, which is no longer a top priority as renewable energy was becoming more relevant.

The authors also question whether the huge United States presence in the Persian Gulf is necessary, since the U.S. itself is less dependent on the region's oil than in the past and does not necessarily need to "protect the global flow" of oil.

This may be because the USA spent $700 billion on its military in Fiscal Year 2019, more than the spending of Russian Federation and China combined.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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