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DSEI: Environmental sustainability strategy plans for net-zero Armed Forces & supply chain

Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead for the Ministry of Defence, joined DSEI Senior Defence Advisor, Air Vice-Marshal (ret’d) Gary Waterfall, to discuss the need for the Armed Forces to address climate change and sustainability.

Lt Gen Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead for the Ministry of Defence

Gen. Nugee spoke about the Ministry of Defence’s climate policy and explained that despite the importance of environmental issues, “defence was not taking this subject seriously enough” which would require a serious culture shift within the MoD, which in turn would require leadership at a three-star level.

The strategy investigates “the impact of climate change on defence” and “the impact of defence on climate change” while exploring ways to make net-zero plans commercially appealing to the defence supply chain.

Part of implementing that change was the recognition that using hybrid and electric vehicles offer an operational advantage over purely internal combustion-driven ones. Gen. Nugee cited the example of the Jackal, a hybrid vehicle which is capable of moving silently and without emitting telltale exhaust fumes. The same can be said for uncrewed vehicles, which can be smaller and therefore more efficient in their movement and running requirements. Gen. Nugee described different energy variants as “the key” to finding operational advantage for vehicles.

Gen. Nugee emphasised that instability caused by climate change will be a significant conflict multiplier that threatens to create “a vicious circle” if it is not tackled immediately. He said: “If urgent is more important than the important. Make the important urgent.”

DSEI 2021 will welcome Gen. Nugee who will give a keynote speech on the impact of climate change on freedom of manoeuvre. The show will also host a panel discussion on increasing renewable energy use in military operations.

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