World military leaders meet in Paris to discuss role in fighting climate change
October 30, 2008
Acknowledging the security threats posed by global warming as well as past successes in controlling emissions of ozone-depleting compounds, military leaders from around the world will convene next week in Paris, France for “The Importance of Military Organizations in Protecting the Climate: 2008”. The officials will be joined by a panel of climate experts.
The workshop seeks to present a forum to discuss the role that military organizations can play in protecting climate and build a case for military leadership on the issue. The aim may be a fitting one given that global military forces are a giant source of carbon dioxide emissions. For example the Department of Defense is the largest energy consumer in the U.S, accounting for about 1 percent of national energy consumption and 78 percent of the federal government’s energy use. In 2007 alone, the U.S. military in Iraq used more than 1.1 billion gallons of fuel.
“With climate change threatening to disrupt many aspects of society in the near future, including national security, it is imperative we enlist [military organizations’] help to overcome this global problem,” said Durwood Zaelke, Director of the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, a group that is promoting the meeting.
This conference is being sponsored by the EU Member States Defense Environmental Network, U.S. Department of Defense, United Nations Environment Programme, Institute for Environmental Security, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Institute for Defense Analysis, and Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC). It is the fifth in an international series that began in 1991.