MoD will fuel aircraft with algae as part of green plans

The Ministry of Defense has outlined plans to improve the environmental performance of the armed forces.

MOD’s reports on the Strategic Approach to Climate Change and Sustainability set out “the ambitions, principles and methods that the UK defense needs to address the challenge of climate change”.

And it shows that the Department of Defense is considering using algae, alcohol and household waste to power airplanes and electric vehicles that “reduce emissions and add stealth”.

Released today, “It seeks to inspire everyone working in and connected with defense through three interlocking ambitions centered on adaptation and resilience, sustainability and net zero, and global leadership.”

By 2050, as part of the UK’s climate change strategy, the Department of Defense aims to:

  • Adapt, fight and win in increasingly hostile and unforgiving physical environments
  • Contribute to the UK’s net zero target by 2050 by reducing emissions and accelerating the transition to renewables
  • Act and be recognized as a world leader in responding to the emerging geopolitical and conflict-related threats exacerbated by climate change and by addressing carbon emissions.

A Defense Department spokesman said: “According to a seminal report by Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, commissioned by MOD, the department wants to refresh and renew its approach, building on work already done in the defense.

“The defense aims to foster a culture of sustainability across the community by mitigating environmental impact while maintaining critical military results.

“The approach also outlines Defense’s vision that the military technologies used are suitable for the future.

“This includes the increased use of material recycling for fuel and components, the further development of maintenance methods to reduce waste and space requirements as well as the further introduction of the electric vehicle fleet.”

“The defense is already working to become more sustainable. The Royal Navy has cut nitrogen oxide emissions from its offshore ship patrols by 95%, while the British Army is piloting carbon-efficient shelters in their training areas and this program continues until 2022. The RAF also has greener fuel introduced for powered aircraft and increased the use of plastics in pilot training, which has led to a reduction in fuel consumption.

“The defense is also committed to improving biodiversity throughout their estate and is developing new agri-environmental programs.

“The Integrated Review and Defense Command Paper recognize the threats climate change poses to global security and defense. This new approach reflects this and will ensure that green initiatives and sustainable thinking are embedded in all defense decision-making.”

Defense Secretary Jeremy Quin said: “The threat from climate change affects us all and, for defense purposes, will have a profound impact on the tasks our armed forces have to perform.

“As a global military leader, we need to evolve and set an example of how to protect peace and stability while promoting sustainability and reducing our carbon emissions.”

Lt. Gen. Richard Nugee, head of MOD Climate Change & Sustainability, said, “Climate change is as great a threat to global security as more conventional threats, and this has the potential to change the way we work.”

“Defense is already making great strides in its efforts to become more sustainable. By changing the way we work in land, sea and air, defense will do its part in combating climate change.”


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