USA Creates More Greenhouse Gases Through Its Defense Operations Than Many Industrialised Nations
According to Researchers from Brown University, Pentagon produces more planet-warming greenhouse gases through its military operations alone as compared to other industrialized countries such as Sweden and Portugal, reported The Guardian.
The study released on 13 June, highlights the military fuel usage by the US after 9/11 and the possible impact of greenhouse gas emissions. The Pentagon, which oversees the defence operations of the US, has released 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other hazardous gases in 2017 alone.
Troops and weapons used accounted for approximately 70% of the energy consumption due to the burning of diesel fuel.
Emissions produced by “overseas contingency operations” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria accounted for about 400 million metric tons of Carbon dioxide.
If it was a country, its emissions would make it the world’s 55th largest contributor, said Neta Crawford, the study’s author and a political scientist at the Boston University.
“There is a lot of room here to reduce emissions”, he added.
Climate Change Affects The Risk Of Armed Conflicts
China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the gas primarily responsible for climate change after the United States.
The Pentagon referred to the climate change as “a national security issue” in January and introduced multiple initiatives to prepare for its repercussions.
Climate change is a threat to military installations and operations, increases political tensions, forces mass migrations and refugee crises, eventually leading to bitter international relations.
According to a study carried out by Nature magazine on June 12, four degrees Celsius of warming would increase the chances of conflict by more than five times.
Possible Solutions To Combat Environmental Threats
As informed by Crawford, Pentagon has minimised its fuel consumption considerably since 2009, by making its vehicles more efficient and by moving to cleaner energy sources at its bases.
“It could reduce them further by cutting fuel-heavy missions to the Persian Gulf to protect access to oil, which was no longer a top priority as renewable energy gained ground. This would make the world safer.”, she said as per the Reuters.
After extensive research, the researchers suggested that the installation of each military station should draw up plans to bring down energy consumption by 20 percent by 2022. They also advised adapting to alternative fuels, hybrid vehicles and sources of renewable energy.
The Pentagon should be able to identify which military station is to be shut if it is contributing to climate change or other environmental threats.
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