09 July 2024

IMCCS World Climate and Security Report

Sustainable security: Reducing Emissions in Military Supply Chains

On July 10, 2024, the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) has presented, on the side-lines of the 2024 NATO Summit in Washington, its annual "World Climate and Security Report". This year's iteration focuses on innovation opportunities for NATO militaries to support the clean energy transition and emissions reductions. 

PSI's Emil Havstrup and Louise van Schaik, together with Lennaert Jonkers, contributed to the report by writing its fourth chapter, titled "Sustainable Security: Reducing Emissions in Military Supply Chains", which delves into the study of military supply chains and suggests innovative ways to tackle the carbon footprint of the defence sector at its origins. 

The militaries' contribution to climate change in terms of supply chain emissions has only emerged recently as a topic, but it is a pivotal element to consider if we want to address decarbonization within the defence-industrial sector. This fields includes the development and procurement of key technologies and provides an opportunity to meet the challenge of getting to net-zero emissions for all sectors by 2050. In addition to this, cutting down emissions could also be an opportunity to support innovations for military means of transportation in line with the energy transition. These would also be beneficial from a tactical point of view, as reduced dependencies on fossil fuels cut the amount of strategic vulnerabilities.

The war in Ukraine has prompted massive investments in the national defence budgets of European countries, with the goal of procuring new equipment and therefore scaling up defence industry production capabilities. This increased demand for materials will result in millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, but at the same time these investments offer opportunities to develop technologies that will contribute to the decarbonization of carbon-intensive industries and, eventually, the military itself. 

The chapter explores viable opportunities and actions for policymakers to address supply chain emissions and support climate mitigation efforts, and investigates promising innovations and business ecosystem dynamics to integrate more sustainable technologies into defence products and practices.

These are extracts from the chapter part of the IMCCS report. The World Climate Security Report is the result of the work of the IMCCS Expert Group, which consists of experts based at the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR), the Planetary Security Initiative at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS).

Read the full report and the chapter by PSI researchers through the link here.

Visit the post of the IMCCS and the PSI one for more. 

Photo credit: Erwan Hesry via Unsplash.