British Military Reacting to Climate Change

LONDON (AP) — Climate change is forcing the British military to tailor its strategy and equipment for more extreme weather, a junior defense minister said Wednesday.

Under-Secretary of State for Defense Derek Twigg said the British military was working on heat-resistant medical supplies and ways to reduce the weight carried by its soldiers in anticipation of hotter battlefields.

“We’ve moved beyond merely theorizing whether climate change has ramifications for defense. We know it will,” Twigg told a conference on climate change and security at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

“Our equipment will have to be adapted to operate in more extreme and much more difficult conditions across the globe,” he said.

Twigg mentioned high-endurance health equipment and lighter supplies as two examples, adding that defense contractors would increasingly be asked to provide military hardware capable of working in a range of tough weather conditions.

Twigg said the Ministry of Defense saw climate change as a “long-term danger” and predicted a greater demand for humanitarian interventions and peacekeeping operations as warming worked to undermine global stability.

“Basically we’ll do everything more, more often, and harder, under more arduous conditions,” he said.

Twigg said the British military was also trying to reduce its contribution to climate change by retooling its equipment, economizing fuel and limiting business travel.


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