Low-carbon warfare: climate change, net zero and military operations
Defence has a carbon problem. The strengthening of climate change and net zero emissions targets in response to the deepening climate crisis is forcing militaries to find answers to the question of how to wield force effectively within the constraints of a net zero world. This article introduces the concept of ‘low carbon warfare’ as a means of capturing recent developments, the extent to which they dovetail with existing concerns regarding the business of war in the 21st Century, and the prospect of significant changes to how militaries operate in the years ahead as the global energy transition unfolds. The article demonstrates that the pursuit of low carbon warfare will not be easy owing to the practical challenges of transitioning militaries away from fossil fuels. Moreover, low carbon warfare will not mitigate all the ethical and environmental concerns associated with military deployments up to and including war. It does nevertheless offer a valuable starting point for conceptualising how militaries are beginning to address their carbon bootprints and what this will mean for future operations.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- International Relations, Politics and History
Published inInternational Affairs
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Author
Publisher statementThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.