The challenge of decarbonising defence
What are the factors that make decarbonising defence particularly challenging?
The defence industry does not get a free pass but does face some unique challenges. Our mission is to provide our armed forces with the capabilities they need to protect citizens and nations. Measures to reduce GHG emissions must maintain the safety, reliability, and operational performance that European militaries will continue to require from defence products.
Many energy-intensive defence platforms, such as tanks, combat aircraft or naval vessels, are technically complex, requiring many years of engineering design and development. They are planned to be in service for decades while retaining the ability to operate across different geographical regions, with different climatic conditions and infrastructure, and alongside the equipment of our allies. The long lifecycles of these platforms and the diversity of the environments in which they could potentially be deployed make rapid technological evolution difficult and emphasise the need for consideration of future climate impacts at the point of design and manufacture.
Most importantly, defence is a market where national governments play a unique role as sole customers, sponsors, and regulators. We must work in close partnership with our customers to meet the challenge of decarbonisation.