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NATO Secretary General at United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP27, 08 NOV 2022

High-Level Discussion on Climate Security with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), 9 November 2022.

Russia’s weaponisation of food and energy as part of its illegal war in Ukraine underlines the need to increase resilience, diversify energy supplies and sources, and accelerate the transition to cleaner, greener economies, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said today.

🗣 | NATO Secretary General:

Thank you very much for inviting me to this event and many thanks to the Munich Security Conference, to the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany for co-hosting the event, and to you, Ambassador Heusgen, Christoph, because for me it is an honour to be part of a COP again.

As the first ever Secretary General of NATO, I participated at the Conference of the Parties – the COP – in Glasgow last year and even though it’s only virtual, it’s good to be back at the COP this time. My understanding is that your question about whether we are or to what extent we’re able to follow up what we agreed in the strategic concept that was agreed at the NATO Summit in June of this year, and where we actually make climate change an issue for NATO for the first time. We have to realise that in the strategic concept that was abandoned until we updated or made a new one in June, climate change is not mentioned. Then we have realised over the last couple of years that climate change of course, it’s something that NATO has to address.

And there are 3 things that NATO has to do. One is to fully understand the link between climate change and security. Climate change Impacts security. Climate change is a crisis multiplier. It increases competition over scarce resources, water, food, land. It forces millions of people to flee. So, climate change creates conflict. It exacerbate conflicts. And since climate change matters for security, climate change matters for NATO. We need to fully understand that link because we need to understand the different threats we are faced with. So we are building off our capacity when it comes to analyse, understand and assess the link between climate change […] conflict and security. The second thing, which matters for NATO is that, of course, climate change, more extreme weather, windier, wilder, wetter weather matters for military operations. We have a training mission in Iraq and they have experienced more than 50 degrees Celsius. Our equipment, our uniforms, how to adapt to more extreme weather – we have the melting of the ice in the Arctic – matters for the strategic importance of the Arctic. Increased sea levels matters all over naval bases. So we just had to adapt our operations or missions, our equipment, our uniforms to climate change, to more extreme weather. And we are in the process of doing that by incorporating climate change in our military planning, our capability targets and everything we do. And thirdly, of course, our armed forces have to be part of the efforts to reduce emissions. If you look at what’s as a traditional military equipment, heavy battle tanks, battleships, planes, they are not normally very green. They emit a lot. So we need to find a way to reduce military missions.

I attended my first COP in 1997 in Kyoto and there I remember that military emission was explicitly exempted from reporting on the missions from different countries. So they were exempted from the whole equation. Now military missions are part of what is counted, but the data is not good. So we are now, we have launched a project in NATO to standardize how we report on emissions from military operations because that’s the first step towards reducing emissions. And I strongly believe that in the future, we need green, but also of course, effective military capabilities. But in the future, the most effective military capabilities will be the green and environmentally friendly ones. So that’s the three things we need to do and are doing at NATO: understand the link between climate change and security; adapt our military missions and operations to more extreme weather; and, thirdly, reduce military emissions starting by mapping military missions in a much, much better way than we do today.

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About Zohe

Environmentalist, Futurist, Lightworker, Wannabe naturalist. The way we are treating our world and environment is not going to end well! We need to change course NOW.

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