How Climate Solutions Help Keep Our Soldiers Safe
Climate change may still under debate on Capitol Hill, but that’s not the case at the Pentagon. Last July, they issued a report calling climate change a major national security issue, and have made addressing it a big part of their global strategy. Preparing for the risks of rising seas and extreme weather may save countless lives down the line – and as Climate Home points out here, climate solutions are already saving soldier’s lives.
Military forces use enormous amounts of fuel – and transporting fossil fuels to military bases puts soldiers in harm’s way. Clean energy solutions such as roll-up solar panels helps reduce the need for fossil fuels, as well as saving money and allowing military units to operate more efficiently. Less reliance globally on fossil fuels will also reduce the need for troops to secure the pipelines and sea lanes needed to transport oil and natural gas.
Keeping our soldiers safe is something all Americans can support, whatever their political leanings. And when an organization as traditionally conservative as the military not only accepts climate change, but robustly supports and invests in climate solutions, it can go a long way in showing conservative citizens how climate action aligns with their values of patriotism and American strength.
By Ed King, editor of Climate Home
Smart grids, roll-up solar panels and wind offer safer forms of energy for troops in hostile environments, says world’s largest military alliance in annual report
The NATO military alliance will ramp up investments in renewables and energy efficiency as they “reduce the risk” to troops involved in conflict.
“Smart Energy solutions can not only save money when less fuel is used, but can also save soldiers’ lives,” said the 28-country coalition’s annual report, released on Thursday.
“NATO is working to improve the energy efficiency of its forces and increase the use of renewable energy in the military.”
Roll-up solar panels, smart grids and advanced insulation were cited as some of the solutions to the vast energy demands from military machines.
According to NATO between 2003 and 2007 around 3000 soldiers were killed or wounded in attacks on oil or water convoys in Afghanistan and Iraq, as they transported fuels to power military bases.
The Pentagon is the world’s top non-state fuel consumer, with a projected bill of $12.9 billion for 2016. Last week the US Navy deployed its ‘Great Green Fleet’, powered with a blend of biofuels.
Image credit: MOD/Flickr