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Committee launches Defence & Climate Change inquiry

The Defence Committee yesterday launched an inquiry on Defence and Climate Change, covering both the global consequences of climate change on UK defence and the Ministry of Defence’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions.

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Chair's comment

Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, yesterday said:

“Climate change is already making an impact on security and governance in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions. Storms, floods, and droughts will hit agricultural productivity, damage economies, and bring mass migration. Global threats, made worse by rising seas and extreme weather events, are also expected to lead to more conflict. While the immediate focus of our defence policy is rightly on Russian aggression in Ukraine, it’s also important we focus attention on the likely impact of climate change on our future defence and security.

“In our Committee inquiry, we will be examining the global consequences of climate change, such as the risk of conflict driven by competition for scarce resources, and the potential impact of population movements, droughts, floods and other extreme weather events. How far are our Armed Forces equipped to meet these scenarios and what steps do we need to take for our forces to adapt to these challenges?

“Our inquiry will also examine the MoD’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions. Defence accounts for half of UK central Government’s emissions – what measures is the Department putting in place to help government achieve net zero emissions by 2050? Will the MoD follow the US Army in setting targets for reducing its greenhouse gas pollution?”

The Committee’s inquiry is the first Defence Committee inquiry to directly examine the issue of defence and climate change.

The Ministry of Defence’s 2021 Climate change and Sustainability Strategic Approach (CCSSA) states that global threats, made worse by rising seas and extreme weather events, will almost certainly lead to more conflict. According to the MoD’s CCSA document, defence accounts for 50% of UK central Government’s emissions. The US Army has set a goal to half its net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030.

The Committee’s inquiry will also examine how far UK Armed Forces are prepared for the probable increase in requests for Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) tasks as a result of more extreme weather conditions in the UK, and the increased risk of flooding and rising sea levels.

Evidence sessions for this inquiry are likely to begin in July 2022.

Defence and Climate change – inquiry terms of reference

The Committee welcomes evidence submissions on the terms of reference outlined below. The closing date for submissions is Friday 24 June 2022.

In particular, the Committee welcomes evidence submissions on:

  • What needs to be done to achieve the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy’s number one international priority of meeting climate change and biodiversity loss commitments over the next decade?
  • What will be the impacts of climate change on future conflict and how are UK Armed Forces adapting to them?
  • Are UK Armed Forces prepared for the probable increase in requests for Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) tasks as a result of more extreme weather conditions in the UK, and the increased risk of flooding and rising sea levels?
  • With defence alone accounting for half of central government’s greenhouse gas emissions, what should be the MoD’s contribution towards achieving the UK’s net zero target by 2050?

Further information

 

Channel website: http://www.parliament.uk/

Original article link: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/24/defence-committee/news/170676/committee-launches-defence-climate-change-inquiry/

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