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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Big Goals, Long Way to Go to Shrink Military's Massive Carbon Bootprint

See the full post at SolveClimate

A spate of Pentagon reports and intelligence studies made headlines this summer for their common conclusion: Climate change is a real threat to national security. Sounds like reason to get serious about reducing carbon emissions. But are America’s armed forces heeding their own word on the perils of climate change?

On the surface, yes. The military has set a goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2015, after a 2007 executive order by President Bush required federal agencies to reduce their energy intensity. The pressure is also on from an internal aim to get 25 percent of electricity from renewables by 2025.

According to Tad Davis, the Army's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health, the military is fast developing a holistic strategy for greening its energy use.

“We’re looking at ways we can reduce consumption, increase accountability, seek more renewable sources of energy, and look at technologies that may give us better use of energy down the road,” he said.

Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s head buyer of weapons and technology, agreed, telling a Center for Naval Analyses event earlier this year that cutting energy consumption and increasing efficiency are among his top priorities.

But it’s a massive carbon bootprint to shrink. As the nation’s biggest consumer of energy, the Department of Defense spent $20 billion on fuel in 2008, with $7.7 billion of that on aircraft fuel alone. The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government’s energy demand and more than 1 percent of the national total.

Read the rest at SolveClimate

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