The Committee’s report centred on building a ‘resilient’ green recovery from the COVID crisis, accelerating the UK transition to Net Zero by 2050, and strengthening national resilience to the impacts of climate change. For Defence, it recommended our effort should focus on the resilience and sustainability of the estate and our white vehicle fleets, exploring the potential for alternative fuels for military vehicles, understanding risks to Defence operations from a significantly climate changed world, and exploring an increased role for military support to the impacts of climate change.
We are a couple of months from completing the Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy, but – as the Government response indicates – we are already advancing in some areas, including:
- Developing a more energy-efficient estate, alongside building a ‘natural capital register’ to better pinpoint and quantify future carbon offsetting opportunities on the estate, such as planting new woodland and regenerating our extensive peat bogs.
- Changing the Defence standard for aviation fuel, so that it can now be blended with up to 50% alternatives to conventional fossil fuel for all military aircraft.
- Putting the global impacts of climate change at the heart of the current Integrated Review that is shaping future Defence Tasks, such as UK military support to domestic and international relief operations, and intervention in cross-border disputes.
While not mentioned in the Response, we are also now taking delivery of the first tranche of electric vehicles under our White Fleet contract with Babcock, while installing the first tranche of centrally-funded EV charging points at more than 35 Defence establishments. We remain committed to achieving the Government target of 100% EV white fleet by 2030.
There is much to do to deliver everything that the Committee on Climate Change is recommending. But we are not starting from scratch, and there are an increasingly large number of people in defence who really care about this. From commuting to commissioning, everyone will have an active part to play, as individuals, managers, and leaders, building this into how they work.
And we are not alone – I have been really struck by the huge support we are getting from so many in the defence community, from industry, to non-defence companies prepared to support just because they want to be part of something big.We must not squander this great opportunity to change what we do for the better.
Read the original advice at Foreign Travel Advice (UK)