Calling on Governments to Commit to Meaningful Military Emissions Cuts at COP26

APPEALS, 8 Nov 2021

Conflict and Environment Observatory – TRANSCEND Media Service

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th UN Climate Change conference. It is being held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, between 31 October and 12 November 2021.

Join our call for action

There are signs that some countries may pledge to reduce military greenhouse gas emissions at COP26 in November. This call sets out the scope of what these pledges should include and is open for signature by organisations before and during the COP.

Militaries are significant emitters of CO2 and must no longer be seen as exempt from commitments to reduce emissions. Credit: MoD/Crown copyright 2021

The 2015 Paris Agreement left cutting military greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the discretion of individual nations.

Militaries are major emitters and should not be excluded from GHG reduction targets. Governments must demonstrate their commitment to the Paris targets by setting military GHG reduction targets at COP26. For these commitments to be meaningful, they must meet the criteria set out below.

Military emissions, expenditure and reporting

Militaries are huge energy users and contribute significant GHG emissions, as well as causing wider adverse environmental impacts from training, activities and operations. Militaries are typically the largest energy consumers among government agencies but historically there has been a reluctance to disclose data on their emissions.

Global military expenditure rose by 2.6% in 2020 to almost US $2 trillion, in spite of a fall in global GDP of 4.4% due to the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Such increases in military expenditure risk mirrored increases in emissions, as well as diverting funding from sustainable development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change obliges signatories to publish annual GHG emissions, but military emissions reporting is voluntary and often not included. When reported, it is generally incomplete and excludes emissions from equipment and supply chains, and those related to the impact of conflict-operations. This can include emissions from infrastructure damage, conflict-linked environmental change and post-conflict reconstruction.

Meaningful commitments

Militaries and the industries that support them can no longer be viewed as exceptional and must take urgent and significant action to reduce their GHG emissions and environmental bootprint. While NATO’s recent acknowledgement of this is welcome, recognition is only the first step.

Update: In June 2021 NATO agreed to ‘assess the feasibility of reaching net zero emissions by 2050,’ which would apply to its activities. Meanwhile NATO member states agreed ‘…to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from military activities and installations without impairing personnel safety, operational effectiveness and our deterrence and defence posture.’ This is a positive step forward but still far short of what the planet needs to see. Concrete commitments and clear steps towards military emissions reductions must be on the table at COP26 in November.

Governments must use COP26 to commit to reducing military GHG emissions. For these commitments to be credible and meaningful, they must:

  • Set clear GHG emission reduction targets for the military that are consistent with the 1.5oC target specified by the 2015 Paris Agreement;
  • Commit to GHG emission reporting mechanisms that are robust, comparable and transparent, are based on the GHG protocol, and which are independently verified;
  • Set clear targets for the military to conserve energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally responsible renewable energy;
  • Contain clear reduction targets for the military technology industry;
  • Prioritise GHG reduction initiatives at source and not rely on schemes to offset GHG emissions;
  • Publish GHG reduction policies, strategies and action plans, with annual follow-up reporting on performance;
  • Address how reducing military expenditure and deployments, and altering military postures can reduce emissions;
  • Commit to incorporating climate and environmental assessments in decision-making for all procurement, activities and missions;
  • Highlight the relationship between climate change and environmental degradation, and demonstrate a commitment to reducing the overall environmental impact of all military activities and missions;
  • Commit to optimising the management of military lands to improve carbon sequestration and biodiversity;
  • Commit to increase climate and environmental training for decision makers, including on how militaries can mitigate climate change and environmental degradation;
  • Demonstrate leadership, openness and a willingness to collaborate and exchange information on good practice with non-military stakeholders;
  • Commit to allocating the appropriate resources to ensure all climate and environmental protection policies can be fully implemented.

Support this call

If your organisation would like to support this call, please complete the form below. Submissions will be accepted up to and during COP26. So far it has been endorsed by 216 organisations. HERE

Supported by


  • Amnesty International
  • Green Cross International
  • Greenpeace
  • Human Rights Watch
  • International Coalition To Ban Uranium Weapons
  • International Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • International Peace Bureau
  • International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
  • Socio-ecological Union International
  • Soka Gakkai International
  • TRANSCEND Media Service-TMS
  • Transnational Institute
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • World Beyond War


  • European Environmental Bureau (EU)
  • European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions (EUROMIL) (EU)
  • Quaker Council for European Affairs (EU)


  • 11 maart beweging (BE)
  • 2degrees Northampton (US)
  • 350 Seattle (US)
  • 350 Silicon Valley (US)
  • 80000 Voices (UK)
  • Abingdon Peace Group (UK)
  • Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy (UK)
  • Aldrig Mere Krig (DK)
  • Alliance for Democracy (US)
  • Amsterdamse Vredeswacht (NL)
  • Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar
  • Archivio Disarmo (IT)
  • Århus mod Krig og Terror (DK)
  • Arkbound Foundation (UK)
  • Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto (The Union of Conscientious Objectors) (FI)
  • Asociación Española de Investigación para la Paz (Spanish Association for Peace Research) – Environmental Peace Group (ES)
  • Aspey Associates (UK)
  • Assemblée européenne des citoyens AEC/HCA (FR)
  • athena21 (FR)
  • Ayrshire Camoaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • Baptist Peace Fellowship (UK)
  • Belgian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BE)
  • Belgische Coalitie Stop Uraniumwapens (BE)
  • Berkhamsted Quaker Meeting (UK)
  • Beyond Uranium Canberra (AU)
  • Biodiversity Conservation Center (RU)
  • BOCS Foundation (HU)
  • Brynviron (UK)
  • California for a World BEYOND War (US)
  • Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Cymru (UK)
  • Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas (CO)
  • Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers) (CA)
  • Cape Downwinders (US)
  • Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau (ES)
  • Centro Pandora Padova (IT)
  • Ceryx (FR)
  • Climate Action Now MA (US)
  • Climate Action Team, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis (US)
  • Committee of 100 in Finland (FI)
  • Conejo Climate Coalition (US)
  • Conflict and Environment Observatory (UK)
  • Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (US)
  • Corvallis Divest from War (US)
  • Corvallis (Oregon) Friends Meeting (US)
  • Center for Environmental Peacebuilding (US)
  • Cercle Vivi Hommel asbl (LU)
  • Creatura Think & Do Tank (FI)
  • Cumbria and Lancashire Area Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • Czech Climate Coalition (CZ)
  • Defence for Children International – Czechia (CZ)
  • Disarmisti esigenti (IT)
  • Donne in Nero Padova (IT)
  • East Bay Peace Action (US)
  • East Lancashire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • East Midlands Iona community (UK)
  • Ecojustice Ireland Community Interest Company (UK)
  • Ecojustice Legal Action Centre (UK)
  • Ecology Africa Foundation (ZA)
  • Ecological Center DRONT (RU)
  • Education for World Solutions (US)
  • Environmentalists Against War (US)
  • Environmental Justice Taskforce of the Western NY Peace Center (US)
  • Escola de Cultura de Pau – Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ES)
  • Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kriegsdienstverweigerung und Frieden (DE)
  • Fédération Syndicale Unitaire (FSU) (FR)
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation (UK)
  • Finnish Christian Peace Association (FI)
  • FMKK, Swedish anti-nuclear movement (SE)
  • Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (BE)
  • Forbyd atomvåben (Ban the Bomb) – ICAN in Denmark
  • Friedenswerkstatt Sophie-Hedwig (DE)
  • Friends of Nature Prague (CZ)
  • Friends of the Baltic (RU)
  • Friends of the Earth Denmark – NOAH (DK)
  • Friends of the Earth Russia – Russian Social-Ecological Union (RU)
  • FundiPau (US)
  • GLAM Commission of the Protestant Federation IT)
  • Glasgow Quaker Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (UK)
  • Global Campaign on Military Spending (UK)
  • Global Justice Now (UK)
  • Global Peace Alliance BC Society (CA)
  • Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet (CA)
  • Greater Manchester & District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • Green Christian (UK)
  • Greenham women are still everywhere (UK)
  • Highlands Against Nuclear Transport (UK)
  • Holly Musicians for Peace (US)
  • Huddersfield Quaker Meeting (UK)
  • Human Environmental Association for Development (LB)
  • INTAL (BE)
  • InterReligious Task Force on Central America (US)
  • IPPNW Germany
  • Just Peace Queensland Inc (AU)
  • Kehilla Community Synagogue (US)
  • Kingston Peace Council/CND (UK)
  • KLUG – Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit e.V. (DE)
  • Lapland Peace Committee – Fredskämparna i Lapland (FI)
  • Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LB)
  • Lega Obiettori di Coscienza – LOC (IT)
  • Leuvense Vredesbeweging (BE)
  • Llanidloes Local Quaker Meeting (UK)
  • London Campaign Against Arms Trade (UK)
  • Maine Natural Guard (US)
  • Malu Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action (US)
  • Manchester and Warrington AM Quaker Peace Group (UK)
  • Medical Association for Prevention of War (AU)
  • Methodist Peace Fellowship (UK)
  • Monterey Peace and Justice Center (US)
  • Mouvement Africain pour la Justice et la Solidarité (MIS-Afrique) (TG)
  • Mouvement de la Paix (FR)
  • Movement for the Abolition of War (UK)
  • Movimento Internazionale per il Disarmo (IT)
  • Northern Friends Peace Board (UK)
  • NVMP-Artsen voor vrede (IPPNW-The Netherlands) (NL)
  • NWRG-onlus (IT)
  • Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (US)
  • Pacific Institute of Resource Management (NZ)
  • Pasifika Uprising (US)
  • PAX (NL)
  • Peace Action Durham (UK)
  • Peace Action Maine (US)
  • Peace Education and Practice Network (NG)
  • Peace & Justice (Scotland) (UK)
  • Peace Movement Aotearoa (NZ)
  • Peace Pledge Union (UK)
  • Peace Quest Cape Breton (CA)
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility (US)
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility AZ Chapter (US)
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility Colorado (US)
  • Polish Zero Waste Association (PL)
  • Project World Peace (UK)
  • Religions for Peace Canada
  • Religions pour la Paix – Québec (CA)
  • Renegade Activists (AU)
  • Rete Italiana Donne in Nero (IT)
  • Rete Italiana Pace e Disarmo (IT)
  • Ringsfield Hall Eco Activity Centre (UK)
  • (US)
  • Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin (US)
  • San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility (US)
  • Scientists for Global Responsibility (UK)
  • Scot.E3 (Employment, Energy and Environment) (UK)
  • Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • Shadow World Investigations (UK)
  • South Lakeland and Lancaster District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • South Pennines COP26 Hub (UK)
  • (US)
  • Stockport for Peace (UK)
  • Stop Fuelling War, Cessez d’alimenter la guerre (FR)
  • Students Organising For Sustainability (UK)
  • Suomen Rauhanpuolustajat – Finnish Peace Committee (FI)
  • Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SE)
  • Syracuse Peace Council (US)
  • Technology for Life (FI)
  • The Earth Bill Network (US)
  • The Marjan Centre (UK)
  • Tipping Point North South (UK)
  • Tower hamlets CND (UK)
  • Transition Edinburgh (UK)
  • Transition Sonoma Valley (US)
  • Traprock Center for Peace and Justice (US)
  • Trident Ploughshares (UK)
  • TROD868 (TT)
  • TV Nuova Resistenza (IT)
  • UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities
  • Ukrainian Pacifist Movement (UA)
  • Unite Community Climate Justice Branch (UK)
  • United for Peace and Justice (US)
  • VANDU (CA)
  • Veterans For Peace 35 (US)
  • Veterans For Peace 111 (US)
  • Veterans For Peace | Climate Crisis & Militarism Project (US)
  • Veterans For Peace – Western North Carolina (US)
  • Veteranos Por la Paz España (ES)
  • Volunteers for Peace and Green Environment (KE)
  • Vredesbeweging Pais (Peace Movement Pais) (NL)
  • Washington Against Nuclear Weapons (US)
  • Watford Local Quaker Meeting (UK)
  • Western States Legal Foundation (US)
  • Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, Seattle Chapter (US)
  • White Rabbit Grove RDNA (US)
  • WIBP e. V. (DE)
  • Women Against Nuclear Power – Finland
  • Women for Weapons Trade Transparency (US)
  • Women’s Climate Congress (AU)
  • Women in Black Edinburgh (UK)
  • Women in Black Leuven (BE)
  • Women for Peace (FI)
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australia
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Finland
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Italy
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Norway
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, UK
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US/Earth Democracy Committee
  • XR Bury St Edmunds (UK)
  • XR Czech Republic (CZ)
  • XR Dacorum (UK)
  • XR Peace (UK)
  • XR Pendle (UK)
  • XR Wells (UK)
  • Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
  • Zoï Environment Network (CH)
  1. According to data published in April 2021 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.


CEOBS was launched in 2018 with the primary goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the environmental and derived humanitarian consequences of conflicts and military activities. In this, we seek to challenge the idea of the environment as a ‘silent victim of armed conflict’. Download our ‘About us‘ summary. We are driven by the principle that access to reliable environmental information is vital in relation to armed conflicts. Indeed openness and transparency are critical when the environment becomes politicised. MORE

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