Energy & Environment

The Pentagon emits more greenhouse gases than Sweden: study

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The Pentagon produces more greenhouse gas emissions annually than Sweden, a new study has found. 

The study, authored by political scientist Neta Crawford and released by Brown University on Wednesday, found that the Pentagon produced 59 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 alone.

In any year from 2001 to 2017, the study found the Pentagon’s emissions to be “greater than many smaller countries’ total greenhouse gas emissions.”

{mosads}In 2017 in particular, the study found Pentagon emissions “were greater than Finland, which emitted 46.8 million metric tons, Sweden which emitted 50.8 million metric tons, and Denmark which emitted 33.5 million metric tons of CO2.”

The study also found the Department of Defense is the largest institutional producer of greenhouse gases in the world and the biggest “institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly.” 

Though the study notes that the department does not “publicly and regularly report its fuel consumption or greenhouse gas emissions,” researchers were able to estimate the Pentagon’s greenhouse gas emissions using data from the Department of Energy and fuel consumption data dating back to 1975.

The 36-page study comes after the Pentagon released a report in January that warned of the threatening effects climate change could have on a bulk of its military installations.

Crawford told CNBC in a statement that “although the Pentagon has, in recent years, increasingly emphasized what it calls energy security — energy resilience and conservation — it is still a significant consumer of fossil fuel energy.”

Crawford’s study noted greenhouse gas reduction efforts made by the Pentagon since it began increasing its use of renewable energy in its operations since 2009 and doubled its renewable power generation between 2011 and 2015.

However, she said that “there is room for much steeper cuts” and told Reuters that the Pentagon could put more progress behind the push toward sustainability if it reduced the number of its missions made to the Persian Gulf for oil.

“Many missions could actually be re-thought, and it would make the world safer,” she told the news agency.

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