Jordan enlists army in climate fight

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO, Feb 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Jordan has unveiled plans to help
fight climate change, including upgrading its armed forces by
2020, an area usually overlooked in the global warming debate.

Amman says its armed forces will seek to upgrade engines and
old vehicles and use energy saving technologies. It did not give
expected savings.

Jordan is alone in mentioning a push to make military
equipment more efficient among more than 30 developing countries
giving details to the United Nations of their climate plans
under a deal at December’s U.N. Copenhagen summit.

Tate Nurkin, director of security and military intelligence
at Jane’s, said while troop safety and military performance
would always be higher priorities, “this will become more of an
emphasis” both for governments and contractors.

The United States, the number two greenhouse gas emitter
behind China, is pushing to reduce its environmental “bootprint”
— the U.S. Defense Department is the nation’s biggest user of
energy. Contractors such as Lockheed Martin (LMT.N: ) or Boeing
(BA.N: ) say they are working to slow climate change.

Less energy use by trucks, tanks, ships or jet fighters
makes personnel safer by reducing the need for large fuel supply
convoys, cuts costs and reduces dependence on oil imports. It
also curbs carbon emissions.

Some experts say far tougher measures are needed to combat
global warming and fear military build-ups could take place
under the guise of fighting climate change.

“You cannot expand the number of vehicles and tanks and jet
fighters and then have a better fuel efficiency and say you are
helping solve the problem of climate change,” said Johan
Rockstrom, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Submissions by other developing nations published this month
focus on sectors such as transport, agriculture, industry or
energy use without explicit mention of the armed forces.

Alyson Bailes, a security expert and visiting professor at
the University of Iceland, said the United States was doing most
to reduce the environmental impact of the armed forces.

“I find it very strange that European procurement chiefs and
producers are not thinking in the same way,” she said. “Part of
the problem may be that ‘green’ people simply see arms as a bad
thing and fear to legitimise them by cleaning them up.”

Among innovations, the U.S. military has found that spraying
Honeywell (HON.N: ) foam insulation on tents in Iraq can cut the
need for air conditioning by 45 percent.

The military may have to adapt to new challenges since
climate change, with impacts ranging from desertification to
rising sea levels, may exacerbate conflicts.

Investing Tools

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)
(For Reuters latest environment blogs, click on:
http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/)

Jordan enlists army in climate fight