News: NATO Secretary General Says Climate Change Matters to NATO, Jun 28, 2022

News: NATO Secretary General Says Climate Change Matters to NATO, Jun 28, 2022

Speaking at the NATO Public Forum on June 28, 2022, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that climate change is a crisis multiplier and that it is important for NATO. Mr Stoltenberg stressed that “NATO is determined to set the gold standard for addressing the security implications of climate change”, Mr Stoltenberg noted that the new Strategic Concept to be adopted in Madrid states that climate change is a defining challenge of our time is.

“Today I am publishing our first assessment of how climate change is impacting our security, our military assets, installations and activities, as well as our resilience and civilian preparedness,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. The Secretary General stressed that NATO must adapt, “by equipping our armed forces with the equipment they need to operate in extreme heat and cold; train them to assist in disaster relief; strengthening our coastal facilities against rising water levels; and addressing the security implications of increased economic and military activity in the High North.” Referring to the first steps in NATO’s adaptation to climate change, Mr Stoltenberg noted: “We are now taking climate change into account when planning our operations and missions; and in developing new capabilities. In this way we ensure that we remain effective in increasingly harsh environments.”

He said NATO should reduce the impact of military activities on the climate. “To this end, we developed the first methodology for measuring NATO’s greenhouse gas emissions, both civilian and military.” The methodology describes “what to count and how to count it” and will be made available to all Allies to help them reduce their own military emissions. “This is vital because what is measured can be cut,” said Mr Stoltenberg. He stressed that a “green energy revolution” is currently underway and stressed that this could be of “great benefit” to militaries. “Even today, the best new cars are real electric cars. And I believe that in the future the most advanced military vehicles and the most resilient armed forces will be those that do not rely on fossil fuels,” he said.

The NATO Public Forum is held on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid. It is the first high-level dialogue on climate change and security, bringing NATO allies together with partner countries and other stakeholders from around the world.