Report Claims Pentagon is World’s Largest Producer of Greenhouse Gases

While the U.S. military has plenty of resources to move to renewable energy, it has remained dependent on petroleum, which is a boon for the oil and gas industry.

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An aerial view of the Pentagon building photographed on Sept. 24, 2017.
An aerial view of the Pentagon building photographed on Sept. 24, 2017.

According to a study from Brown University’s “Costs of War” initiative, the Pentagon has produced over a billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gases since the start of the worldwide war on terrorism in 2001.

It is equal to 257 million passenger vehicles ‘ annual emissions, more than double the present amount of vehicles on the US highways. With more than 800 army installations in over 80 countries, the Pentagon continues to be the world’s largest institutional user of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas manufacturer.

When it goes to energy usage or greenhouse gas emissions, the Pentagon is not clear. The project, however, used the emission information from the Department of Energy to estimate the report.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn't have happened at a worse time
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time

The greenhouse gas emissions of the Pentagon were approximately 59 million metric tons in 2017. It was more than Finland (46.8 million tonnes), Sweden (50.8 million tonnes) or Denmark (33.5 million tonnes) that same year.

Consumption in conflict areas such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria results in at least 400 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.

According to the study, the U.S. bought 2.4 billion barrels of crude oil between 1998 and 2017. Annual sales of petrol have averaged over 120 million barrels of all kinds of gas since the 9/11 attacks. The armed services bought an average of 102 million barrels of petrol per year from the DOD between 2010 and 2015.

The Pentagon is projected to have burned more than 85 million barrels of “operational fuel” to power its ship, aircraft, and fighter vehicle fleets. They also used the fuel for “contingency bases”. In total, they invested $8.2 billion.

Switches to renewable energy between 2011 and 2015 only compensate less than 1% of greenhouse gas pollution from the Pentagon.

Countries most affected in Latin America, Africa, and Asia were mainly unable to persuade or force the U.S. army to fund clean-up initiatives.

By adding the toxic impacts of U.S. military bases to the huge quantity of emissions over the previous few centuries, it becomes apparent that a climate plan should also include climate reparations for impacted nations.

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