Ministry of Defence
How defence is rising to the sustainability challenge
The Government yesterday issued its response to the Committee on Climate Progress Report to Parliament, which was published in June this year. For Defence, this is significant because for the first time the Committee made specific recommendations on how we should focus our efforts.
The Committee’s report centred on building a ‘resilient’ green recovery from the COVID crisis, accelerating the UK transition to Net Zero by 2050, and strengthening national resilience to the impacts of climate change. For Defence, it recommended our effort should focus on the resilience and sustainability of the estate and our white vehicle fleets, exploring the potential for alternative fuels for military vehicles, understanding risks to Defence operations from a significantly climate changed world, and exploring an increased role for military support to the impacts of climate change.
We are a couple of months from completing the Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy, but – as the Government response indicates – we are already advancing in some areas, including:
- Developing a more energy-efficient estate, alongside building a ‘natural capital register’ to better pinpoint and quantify future carbon offsetting opportunities on the estate, such as planting new woodland and regenerating our extensive peat bogs.
- Changing the Defence standard for aviation fuel, so that it can now be blended with up to 50% alternatives to conventional fossil fuel for all military aircraft.
- Putting the global impacts of climate change at the heart of the current Integrated Review that is shaping future Defence Tasks, such as UK military support to domestic and international relief operations, and intervention in cross-border disputes.
While not mentioned in the Response, we are also now taking delivery of the first tranche of electric vehicles under our White Fleet contract with Babcock, while installing the first tranche of centrally-funded EV charging points at more than 35 Defence establishments. We remain committed to achieving the Government target of 100% EV white fleet by 2030.
There is much to do to deliver everything that the Committee on Climate Change is recommending. But we are not starting from scratch, and there are an increasingly large number of people in defence who really care about this. From commuting to commissioning, everyone will have an active part to play, as individuals, managers, and leaders, building this into how they work.
And we are not alone – I have been really struck by the huge support we are getting from so many in the defence community, from industry, to non-defence companies prepared to support just because they want to be part of something big.We must not squander this great opportunity to change what we do for the better.
Latest News from
Ministry of Defence
Joint restoration project on River Avon helps improve habitat diversity22/10/2020 15:15:15
A joint restoration project between the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) and Services Dry Fly Fishing Association (SDFFA) will improve habitats for riverine species on the banks of the River Avon.
UK shipbuilding boosted by warship procurement22/10/2020 10:15:00
Vital warships providing supplies and technical support to the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers will made by British-led teams, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced.
More Afghan interpreters to move to the UK as scheme extends21/10/2020 16:38:00
Many more Afghan interpreters who served bravely alongside British Armed Forces in Afghanistan can relocate to the UK thanks to new legislation announced today.
UK and Australia commit to shipbuilding partnership21/10/2020 10:15:00
Australia and the UK have further strengthened their enduring defence relationship by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on building and delivering the next generation of cutting-edge frigates.
Defence Secretary announces MOD Science and Technology Strategy 202020/10/2020 14:38:00
The MOD Science and Technology Strategy 2020 sets out how MOD will secure and maintain scientific and technological advantage for the future.
New strategy places focus on cutting edge science and technology20/10/2020 12:33:00
Ground-breaking innovation will be at the heart of defence activity for generations, thanks to a bold new Science and Technology Strategy unveiled yesterday by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
Defence Secretary urges troops to support Poppy Appeal20/10/2020 10:15:00
Ben Wallace has written an open letter to troops encouraging them to support The Royal British Legion's annual Remembrance appeal.
UK and US reaffirm relationship at Atlantic Future Forum20/10/2020 09:33:00
Senior figures from government and industry in the UK and US will meet over the next two days on board HMS Queen Elizabeth for the annual Atlantic Future Forum.
Joint Statement - Five Eyes nations defence ministers19/10/2020 10:15:00
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace recently (15 October 2020) took part in a videoconference of defence ministers from the Five Eyes nations.