To: Participants in COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, November 1-12, 2021 From: [Your Name]
As a result of final-hour demands made by the U.S. government during negotiation of the 1997 Kyoto treaty, military greenhouse gas emissions were exempted from climate negotiations. That tradition has continued. The 2015 Paris Agreement left cutting military greenhouse gas emissions to the discretion of individual nations. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, obliges signatories to publish annual greenhouse gas emissions, but military emissions reporting is voluntary and often not included. NATO has acknowledged the problem but not created any specific requirements to address it. There is no reasonable basis for this gaping loophole. War and war preparations are major greenhouse gas emitters. All greenhouse gas emissions need to be included in mandatory greenhouse gas emission reduction standards. There must be no more exception for military pollution. We ask COP26 to set strict greenhouse gas emissions limits that make no exception for militarism, include transparent reporting requirements and independent verification, and do not rely on schemes to "offset" emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from a country’s overseas military bases must be fully reported and charged to that country, not the country where the base is located.
The U.S. Department of Defense is the largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world and a key contributor to climate change. Between 2001 and 2017, the years for which data is available since the beginning of the war on terrorism with the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. military emitted 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. More than 400 million metric tons of greenhouse gases are directly due to warrelated fuel consumption. The largest portion of Pentagon fuel consumption is for military jets. These estimates are based on data from the Department of Energy because the Pentagon withholds fuel consumption data from Congress. The U.S. military has begun to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but there is room for much steeper cuts.