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Procedure : 2021/2102(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0084/2022

Texts tabled :

A9-0084/2022

Debates :

PV 06/06/2022 - 16
CRE 06/06/2022 - 16

Votes :

PV 07/06/2022 - 4.4

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2022)0223

Texts adopted
PDF 174kWORD 64k
Tuesday, 7 June 2022 - Strasbourg
The EEAS’s Climate Change and Defence Roadmap
P9_TA(2022)0223A9-0084/2022

European Parliament resolution of 7 June 2022 on the EEAS’s Climate Change and Defence Roadmap (2021/2102(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Title V of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular Articles 42 and 43 thereof,

–  having regard to the Union’s 2030 and 2050 carbon neutrality targets,

–  having regard to the Climate Change and Defence Roadmap of 9 November 2020,

–  having regard to the Concept for an Integrated Approach on Climate Change and Security of 5 October 2021,

–  having regard to the EU Concept for Environmental Protection and Energy Optimisation for EU-led Military Operations and Missions,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/697 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2021 establishing the European Defence Fund (EDF)(1), in particular recital 60 thereof stating a 30 % climate contribution and recital 61 thereof stating contributions of 7.5 % and 10 % of annual spending against the loss of biodiversity until 2027,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/947 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 June 2021 establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe(2) (the ‘NDICI Regulation’), in particular recital 49 thereof stating a 30 % climate contribution,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 8 July 2020 on a hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe (COM(2020)0301),

–  having regard to the NATO Climate Change and Security Action Plan,

–  having regard to the EEAS strategy document of June 2016 entitled ‘A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’ and its follow-up reports,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 January 2018 on the integrated approach to external conflicts and crises,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 10 December 2018 on women, peace and security,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 January 2020 on climate diplomacy,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 25 January 2021 on climate and energy diplomacy – delivering on the external dimension of the European Green Deal,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 17 June 2020 and of 10 May 2021 on security and defence,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 7 June 2017 entitled ‘A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s external action’ (JOIN(2017)0021),

–  having regard to the Commission’s Annual Activity Report 2020 – Defence Industry and Space,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 24 February 2021 entitled ‘Forging a climate-resilient Europe – the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change’ (COM(2021)0082),

–  having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,

–  having regard to the United Nations Security Council research report of 21 June 2021 on climate change,

–  having regard to the decisions by NATO leaders in June 2021 on climate and security,

–  having regard to the International Military Council on Climate and Security’s World Climate and Security Report of June 2021,

–  having regard to the 2021 BIOSEC project final report entitled ‘Biodiversity and Security’, funded by the European Research Council (ERC) for the period 2016-2020,

–  having regard to the ADELPHI project entitled ‘Weathering Risk: A Climate and Security Risk and Foresight Assessment’,

–  having regard to projects co-funded by the EU, such as ‘FREXUS: Improving security and climate resilience in a fragile context through the water-energy-food security Nexus’ in the Sahel region,

–  having regard to UN documents on human security and on the responsibility to protect,

–  having regard to the its resolution of 7 July 2021 on EU-NATO cooperation in the context of transatlantic relations(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 July 2018 on climate diplomacy(4),

–  having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0084/2022),

A.  whereas Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is challenging the European security order in an unprecedented manner and is putting pressure on all sectors of the Union and its Member States to become stronger, more resilient and more independent, in particular in the areas of defence, security, cyber security and critical infrastructure, but also energy, including energy efficiency;

B.  whereas environmental factors can influence human and state security in various direct and indirect ways;

C.  whereas climate change and climate-related impacts, including environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, desertification, extreme weather, water and food scarcity, air pollution and natural disasters promote the emergence of conflicts or crises and are already threatening local, regional and international security, stability and peace; whereas climate change, the consequences of which are already evident and are predicted to accelerate in the medium and long term, has become an increasingly dominant risk multiplier, as it can contribute to aggravating certain pre-existing crisis factors (such as an increase in economic inequalities or strong political oppression), and constitutes a new security challenge that requires adequate resources to respond to, together with hybrid and cyber threats;

D.  whereas the links between climate change and conflict can be complex, and the concrete effects of climate change on conflict are mostly context-specific; whereas a need exists to support more systematic and extensive exchanges and cross-fertilisation between the scientific communities working on the climate-security nexus;

E.  whereas climate change remains at the heart of the peace and security agenda as the ultimate ‘threat multiplier’, worsening existing social, economic and environmental risks that can fuel unrest and potentially result in violent conflict; whereas environmental and climate changes and their consequences, combined with other factors, aggravate pre-existing vulnerabilities, tensions and risks, rather than always being a trigger in themselves or a direct cause of armed inter-state or international conflicts; whereas climate change can affect people’s security differently depending on their gender, socio-economic status, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), (dis)ability, etc.; whereas marginalised groups in particular tend to be disproportionately negatively affected by climate change; whereas climate change-related security risks particularly affect economically disadvantaged populations and have socio-economic effects; whereas climate change has negative effects on the cultural and natural heritage of the areas affected;

F.  whereas the climate crisis affects both human and state security; whereas climate change intersects in various ways with political, ethnic and socio-economic dynamics, and is a direct driver of conflict in that it increases disaster risks and places additional pressure on ecosystems, thereby threatening people’s livelihoods, water and food security, and critical infrastructure, by, inter alia, instigating land-use change and environmental degradation;

G.  whereas rising sea levels have already caused flooding and salinisation, posing a major security and existential risk to low-lying coastal areas and islands; whereas according to the World Bank’s updated 2021 Groundswell report, climate change could force 216 million people to move within their countries by 2050; whereas the report also states that immediate and concrete action can significantly reduce the scale of climate migration; whereas water scarcity has a multifaceted impact on human security and socio-political stability; whereas, due to climate change, water supplies will be affected, especially in developing countries, while the global demand for water will rise; whereas climate change is increasing the risk of droughts and floods; whereas the impact of climate change on food prices is undermining livelihoods and prompting displacement, disease and famine, resulting in migration on an unprecedented scale;

H.  whereas in the Sahel, the impacts of changing climatic conditions on the availability of natural resources, coupled with factors such as population growth, weak governance and land tenure challenges, have led to increased competition over scarce natural resources – most notably fertile land and water – and have resulted in tensions and conflicts between communities and livelihood groups;

I.  whereas climate change is one of the factors that shape the strategic environment, as it amplifies risks and imposes constraints; whereas the climate crisis has generated effects on the international system, where it has the potential to exacerbate geopolitical tensions, and to shift the balance between major powers; whereas climate change issues are being exploited by malign actors in order to increase their leverage or to encourage hostilities; whereas the melting of the polar ice caps is increasing geopolitical tensions, particularly around the North Pole;

J.  whereas the US armed forces have lost more military hardware and infrastructure due to natural disasters than due to the armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq combined; whereas the Biden Administration has made positive efforts to combat climate change, including by re-joining the Paris Agreement and incorporating climate change into its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance;

K.  whereas armed forces are among the biggest fossil fuel consumers worldwide;

L.  whereas the Union’s domestic oil and gas production is steadily declining; whereas the Union is highly and increasingly energy dependent, with all its Member States being net importers of energy from a limited number of third countries, and with an energy dependency rate that increased from 56 % to 61 % over the period 2000-2019; whereas in a recent study, the 2019 carbon footprint of the military sector in Member States, including both national armed forces and military technology industries based in the EU, was estimated at approximately 24,8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent; whereas the energy transformation, as well as advanced weapon systems, require access to critical raw materials, whose supply chains engender vulnerabilities in some cases, also for specialised SMEs in the European defence sector, in particular if dominated by a limited number of third countries;

M.  whereas, according to the European Defence Agency (EDA), transport fuels accounted for 52 % of the energy consumption of the 22 Member States which provided data for 2016 and 2017 (countries accounting for 96,9 % of EDA Member States’ overall defence expenditure); whereas, according to the same EDA survey, military infrastructure and buildings represent another large consumer of energy, with heating alone having accounted, on average, for 32 % of Member States’ armed forces’ energy consumption in 2017, 75 % of which was generated by oil fuels and natural gas;

N.  whereas because of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the Union and its Member States want to end fossil fuel imports from Russia; whereas because of the Russian attack on the European security order, European armed forces also need to become more independent from fossil fuel imports, while their military strength and mission effectiveness need to be increased at the same time;

O.  whereas some EU Member States are using their vast military-designated areas to protect biodiversity, for example by preventing helicopter flights over nesting areas;

P.  whereas environmental crime is a very frequent criminal activity in the world and a significant security concern; whereas stronger cooperation on this issue is needed between the EU and partner countries, by supporting states in developing their capabilities to tackle environmental crime;

Q.  whereas environmental crime has become the world’s fourth-largest proceeds-generating crime sector, growing three times as fast as the global economy; whereas a 2016 Interpol and UN Environment Programme report estimated the proceeds from environmental crime to be worth as much as USD 258 billion a year, including the illegal trade in wildlife, forestry and fishery crimes, waste trafficking and illegal mining;

R.  whereas a 2018 report by Interpol, RHIPTO and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime found environmental crime to be the largest financial driver of conflicts and the largest source of income for non-state armed groups and terrorist organisations, ahead of traditional illegal activities such as kidnapping for ransom and drug trafficking;

S.  whereas the defence sector is not mentioned in the 2015 Paris Agreement, leaving it to national governments to decide whether to include mitigation efforts by the defence sector in their national commitments towards the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); whereas all sectors must contribute to the reduction of emissions and at the same time adapt to climate change in order to achieve the Union’s carbon neutrality objectives and to maintain operational effectiveness; whereas in September 2020, France unveiled its new Defence Energy Strategy with 34 recommendations to reduce and optimise the energy consumption of its armed forces and to enhance its energy security;

T.  whereas even a small nuclear exchange would have dramatic humanitarian consequences, and would also impact the climate in a very negative way, causing famines and the shortening of growing seasons for several years;

U.  whereas security must be at the heart of environmental thinking in order to develop realistic, lasting and effective sustainable development solutions for human security and global stability; whereas, as a consequence, the Union’s external action must increasingly incorporate climate change and environmental considerations as a major security risk, and accordingly adapt strategies and concepts, procedures, civilian and military hardware and infrastructure, capability development, including training, and, where appropriate, its institutional framework and accountability mechanisms; whereas the Union’s security and defence policy and its instruments should directly contribute to preventing and reducing the negative security effects of the climate crisis; whereas the full complement of governance and peacebuilding instruments must address the climate-security nexus;

V.  whereas, due to the security effects of climate change and climate-related impacts, climate security measures, i.e. anticipating and adapting to the consequences of climate change for the strategic environment and military missions, and their financing, have to be understood as also contributing to defence and security; whereas the NDICI has a spending target of 30 % of its seven-year budget of EUR 80 billion to support climate actions, and between 7,5 and 10 % annually for environmental protection and biodiversity objectives;

Strategy and concept

1.  Notes that Article 21 TEU provides an appropriate legal basis for making the Union’s external action and the common security and defence policy (CSDP) fit to meet the 21st century’s main challenges, of which climate change and climate-based factors are main drivers; recalls that Article 21 TEU demands the following of the Union: ‘(c) preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security; [...] (f) develop measures to preserve and improve the quality of the environment and the sustainable management of global natural resources...; [and] (g) assist populations, countries and regions confronting natural or man-made disasters’; stresses the urgent need to accelerate and deepen the integration of conflict-sensitive climate mitigation and adaptation into the Union’s external, foreign, security, and defence policies, in particular its CSDP; states that the primary objectives of CSDP missions and operations are, in compliance with Articles 42(1) and 43(1) TEU, peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in theatres where they are deployed, while their full operational efficiency has to be ensured;

2.  Stresses the urgent need to draw lessons from the changed security situation in Europe resulting from the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and to speed up military capability development processes, as well as projects to make military technology more independent from fossil fuels, while at the same time increasing mission effectiveness and fighting strength;

3.  Underlines that, given the ongoing war on the European continent, the provision of energy supplies to European armed forces must be guaranteed at all times to ensure the proper defence of the Union’s territory and citizens; recognises that security of supply may necessitate flexible short term measures;

4.  Strongly believes that military activities and technology have to contribute to the Union’s carbon neutrality targets in order to contribute to the fight against climate change without compromising mission security and without undermining the operational capabilities of the armed forces; underlines, in that regard, that the Union’s external action and the armed forces of the Member States should work towards reducing their own carbon footprint and their negative effects on natural resources and biodiversity;

5.  Stresses the need for enhanced foresight in order to prevent the consequences of ecosystem and climate changes where they might increase pressure on armed forces or create regional tensions;

6.  Underlines the need to invest in smart, integrated, ‘whole of society’ solutions as a matter of urgency in order to achieve significant emissions reductions, to avoid the worst effects of climate change and also to invest heavily in the climate resilience of nations that need this, in order to avoid instability, conflict and major humanitarian disasters;

7.  Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to make sure that environmental protection, the fight against climate change and climate-related impacts are appropriately integrated and mainstreamed in the Union’s external action, following the example of the NDICI Regulation; calls for climate-specific strategies, policies, procedures, measures and capabilities to be developed; calls on the VP/HR to make sure that the development of a Union policy on climate security and defence entails the implementation of a human security approach; welcomes the EEAS’s intention for civilian and military CSDP missions and operations to develop and incorporate a set of actions to effectively implement environmental aspects into their work; supports the strengthening of Member States’ capabilities by incorporating environmental aspects into civilian and military missions’ training programmes and by exchanging best practices and expertise;

8.  Calls for the development of concrete benchmarks to measure progress in addressing the links between climate change, on the one hand, and conflict on the other; calls on the VP/HR to report on an bi-annual basis to Parliament on the progress made in using and meeting these benchmarks and indicators; calls on the Member States to incorporate knowledge of the climate’s security ramifications into foreign military assistance programmes;

9.  Underlines the importance of addressing the links between climate change, security and defence in the Strategic Compass, with a view to identifying clear goals and concrete measures for Member States to strengthen the energy efficiency of the armed forces and adapt to the comprehensive security effects of climate change in the medium to longer term, ranging from strategic foresight, training and innovation to capability development within the EU framework;

10.  Recalls that insecurity stems from many different interconnected root causes such as poverty, state fragility, the lack of public infrastructure and services, very limited access to basic goods, the lack of education, corruption, etc., among which climate change figures;

11.  Recalls that in Africa, and, in particular, in the Sahel, the interaction of climate change and traditional conflict factors (inter alia state failure, the lack of public services and deterioration in the security environment) is exacerbating the problems of violence and terrorism;

12.  Calls for increased support for efforts aimed at tackling climate change and enhancing climate-neutral alternatives in the immediate EU neighbourhood, namely the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership and the Southern Neighbourhood, in order to prevent possible security challenges;

13.  Stresses that due to climate change, the Arctic has warmed three times as fast as the planet on average during the last 50 years; underlines how climate change has changed the geopolitical situation in the Arctic and is creating a geopolitical challenge for the EU; stresses that the Arctic is of strategic and political importance to the EU and underlines the EU’s commitment to be a responsible actor, seeking the long-term sustainable and peaceful development of the region; stresses that the Arctic must remain an area of peaceful cooperation and calls for measures to avoid steps leading towards increased militarisation; recalls that the EU countries Finland, Sweden and Denmark are members of the Arctic Council;

The Climate Change and Defence Roadmap

14.  Welcomes the Climate Change and Defence Roadmap (‘the Roadmap’) and calls on the EEAS to ensure, together with the relevant Commission services and the EDA, where appropriate, the comprehensive implementation of the three work strands – the operational dimension, capability development and partnerships; calls for the timeframes for reviewing the Roadmap to be reconsidered and, in particular, for the overall objectives to be reviewed much earlier than 2030; calls on the Member States to develop national structures in support of the objectives; urges all actors to treat this process as one of their priorities and to develop and implement initiatives in line with the integrated approach; stresses the important role of the armed forces with respect not only to adaptation, but also to mitigating their effect on climate change and the environment, including by comprehensively measuring and mapping the environmental footprint of armed forces, as proposed in the Roadmap; urges the VP/HR to propose to the Member States an immediate action programme which consists of prioritised actions presented in the Roadmap which can be implemented in the short term;

15.  Welcomes in particular the Roadmap’s immediate and short-term impact measures for 2020-2021, in particular the development of a light-touch reporting process – linked with the development of measurement capabilities – based on indicators of progress related to the environmental footprint, including energy, water, waste management, etc., of CSDP missions and operations; stresses the necessity to generate more detailed assessments, taking into account the lessons learned and best practices, by 2024 and to incorporate stronger requirements for appropriate technical specifications as part of procurement in order to mitigate a life-cycle approach, as included in the 2012 Military Concept on Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency for EU-led military operations; highlights the need to systematically include climate and environmental considerations in military technology, research, procurement and infrastructure;

16.  Welcomes the recent Commission, Council and EEAS initiatives in the field of climate diplomacy, security and defence, in particular the Climate Diplomacy Policy Framework, the Roadmap and the Concept for an Integrated Approach on Climate Change and Security; calls on the VP/HR to make sure that all of the different concepts are properly connected and harmonised in a coherent and consistent framework; stresses the need to make this a priority, and calls on the VP/HR to report on progress by June 2023;

17.  Regrets the fact that the Roadmap does not emphasise the Union’s expected future high demand for cost-competitive renewable energy and alternative fuels, which could arise as win-win opportunities, providing new forums for cooperation and dialogue, mutual economic benefits, increased security of supply and international stability; underlines that clean hydrogen’s characteristics make it one of the candidates to replace fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the military forces;

18.  In order to lay the groundwork for contributing to climate mitigation, calls on the VP/HR to present, by mid-2023, an assessment of the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the EU’s external action; while taking into account the sensitivity of the information assessed, which was provided by CSDP missions and operations, stresses the need to develop by 2023 a meaningful methodology to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions from all EU security and defence activities, including emissions from manufacturing, possession and dismantling, also in order to address the current lack of reliable and internationally comparable data; believes that the Roadmap should be used to trigger the development of a strategy and clear national pledges to reduce military emissions, including mandatory military emissions reporting to the UNFCCC and national parliaments, as without reporting and transparency, there will be no pressure to cut emissions and no means of determining the impact of any pledges;

19.  Calls for the setting of voluntary targets to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions-intensity of military missions and operations, and to embark on a path towards climate neutrality by 2050, thereby further enhancing operational effectiveness;

20.  Proposes to launch a pilot project for measuring and mapping the greenhouse gas emissions of CSDP missions and operations; believes that EUFOR Althea would be a good choice in that respect;

A comprehensive and consistent approach

21.  Calls for coordinated action to rapidly reduce both the scale and the scope of climate change by dramatically reducing emissions, in order to avoid significant, severe or catastrophic global security consequences in the future; highlights the need to climate-proof all elements of security, including infrastructure, institutions and policies, and to rapidly adapt to its effects;

22.  Strongly welcomes the fact that the Union’s new Global Europe instrument (NDICI) reflects well the urgency and importance of swift, strong and extensive external climate action; welcomes, in this regard, the fact that the NDICI mainstreams climate action and will make sure that 30 % of its seven-year budget of EUR 80 billion supports climate actions; calls on the Commission to fully respect these targets and to include in its calculations only measures with a clear climate dimension; welcomes the fact that investments in fossil fuels and measures having harmful or significant adverse effects on the environment and climate are excluded from funding; strongly welcomes the NDICI climate security policy (see subsection 3.1.(d) of Annex III to the NDICI Regulation); calls on the Commission to prioritise actions seeking to achieve comprehensive and inclusive outcomes through linking climate mitigation and adaptation to conflict prevention and peacebuilding; welcomes the NDICI’s environment and climate change programme, while stressing the need to include greater support for fragile and conflict-affected states in environmental governance, including institution-building; demands that the full potential for environment-related peacebuilding be unleashed under the NDICI peace, stability and conflict-prevention programme; believes that the NDICI’s approach to climate security should be a point of reference for all other Union external action and calls on the VP/HR to ensure that the CSDP in particular is synchronised with this approach; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to harness the results of existing research on emerging climate security vulnerabilities, notably in the Sahel, the Middle East and East Africa;

23.  Believes that climate security should become fully integrated into the Union’s conflict prevention and crisis management toolbox in order to strengthen the resilience of fragile states and affected populations;

24.  Underlines the need to boost the Union’s strategic foresight, early-warning, situational awareness and conflict-analysis capacities using qualitative and quantitative data and innovative methods from various sources; underlines that, in addition to systematic cooperation with civil society organisations, the Union’s space programmes, the EU Satellite Centre (SatCen) and the EU Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN), the EEAS’s conflict prevention unit, national research centres, think tanks, national intelligence services and the Joint Research Centre should also contribute to strategic foresight, peacebuilding and climate and conflict research; believes that it is of the utmost importance that such knowledge is used to design future missions, operations and actions properly, taking into account parameters ranging from changing weather conditions to the local political context; commends the essential role played by European space programmes such as Copernicus in understanding climate change and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions; recalls that the EU decentralised agencies, in particular SatCen, have unique capacities to collect data on climate change and its security aspects around the world; notes that the EU space programme is also crucial for addressing the security aspects of climate change; welcomes the ongoing efforts of SatCen in this area;

25.  Underlines that the principle of data-driven policy and programmes must be central to climate security programmes; is mindful, at the same time, of the limitations of big data approaches and quantitative environmental stress indices with regard to conflict prediction, as they risk paying too little attention to the local societal context; recalls the non-availability of reliable data in some fragile countries, also as a result of corruption and weak governance structures, in which case proxy data might be used instead; believes that the knowledge and initiatives of local populations and civil society have a key role to play as part of the Union’s efforts to address the effects of climate change on conflict;

26.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to ensure that early-warning and conflict analysis are adequately connected to early action and responses, and that meaningful strategic foresight capability is in place; welcomes, in this respect, the ongoing conflict analysis of around 60 countries by the EEAS; recalls that it is essential for climate actions to be conflict-sensitive in order to avoid inadvertently doing harm and to contribute to peace whenever possible;

27.  Stresses the need for a case-by-case approach, including regionally specific analyses and locally driven initiatives, which is adapted to the specific situation on the ground; stresses the importance of strengthening the resilience of communities, and that supporting local ownership and inclusive local governance structures is essential to ensure that efforts are sustainable; stresses that an inclusive and accountable approach towards local populations and more effective environmental protection measures, e.g. access to vital resources, also increases the security of EU forces and personnel (mission security); expresses its full support to environmental defenders as they experience increased repression in parts of the world; stresses that states which are reducing the capacity of environmental defenders to act are harming many of those whose skills are needed most, and damaging the EU’s interests in the process;

28.  Calls for international cooperation to address the challenges related to environmental migration, in order to develop common solutions; calls a special focus to be placed on delivering appropriate assistance to children and young people;

29.  Believes that environment-related peacebuilding should be reinforced, as it is one of the overall sustainable and fair solutions addressing the effects of climate change and can also present opportunities to build peace, while fostering dialogue and cooperation at the local, national and international level (e.g. on natural resource management, access to land and water, environmental protection, disaster risk reduction, welcoming climate refugees, etc.) and presenting opportunities to adopt a transformational approach to address the root causes of conflict and structural drivers of marginalisation; stresses the need to increase pre-conflict mediation initiatives, including by means of higher levels of funding via NDICI; stresses the need to address the environment throughout the cycle of conflict, and also to address the post-conflict situation in an appropriate manner, as it can leave populations more vulnerable to environmental risk or lead to a rise in environmental crime or devastation (e.g. deforestation) in ungoverned spaces;

30.  Underlines that the Union’s climate action should be inclusive, aim to advance gender equality, apply the EU’s human rights-based approach, promote good governance and implement the youth, peace and security, and the women, peace and security, agendas in line with the EU’s Gender Action Plan III; calls, in particular, for the initiatives of grassroots women’s, youth, and indigenous organisations to be supported and for lessons to be learned from them;

31.  Equally stresses the need to deploy climate security experts to the CSDP missions and operations, encouraging Member States to support these efforts by providing such experts; proposes to specifically task EU delegations with enhancing reporting about the governance of land and natural resources, as well as the connected socio-economic and political developments; underlines the importance of also tasking the relevant EU actors with closely monitoring the situation in regions which are heavily affected by climate change and environmental degradation, such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Pacific, and with developing mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, document and communicate publicly on the impact, the lessons learned and the best practices of efforts to achieve comprehensive outcomes through linking climate adaptation and peacebuilding;

32.  Welcomes the increased focus on the climate-security nexus and the participation of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow (COP26), and calls for concrete EU-NATO cooperation in this regard;

Addressing the operational dimension

33.  Acknowledges that many CSDP missions are conducted in areas which are severely affected by climate change, which multiplies the challenges for these missions;

34.  Stresses that climate change could also generate population displacement and pose challenges for theatres of operations; calls for a clear awareness of the security aspects of climate change as a critical factor that militaries will have to deal with, not only because of its impacts on military operations, but also in anticipation of increasing climate-induced internal displacement, which is already higher than conflict displacement; notes, however, the under-preparedness of armed forces for the security implications of the world’s changing climate;

35.  Supports the integration of a climate-sensitive approach and strongly believes that it is urgent for Member States to mandate all missions and operations and all European Peace Facility (EPF) actions to contribute more to the integrated approach for addressing climate security challenges, in particular in the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions, thereby also moving towards a reduction in the costs of operations (reduction in energy consumption, use of new energy sources), while improving the missions’ operational effectiveness;

36.  Highlights that CSDP missions and operations and EPF actions can contribute to enhancing the climate resilience of their host countries and stresses that a positive legacy in terms of their local footprint should be included, without affecting their main security and defence tasks, the missions’ viability and operational effectiveness, and the security of military and civilian personnel in their exit strategies; underlines that reducing operational dependency on fossil fuels brings benefits in operational efficiency and effectiveness, including enhancing the safety of mission personnel by reducing logistical supply chains, and strengthening the credibility of CSDP engagement in the light of the EU’s global climate leadership;

37.  Recalls that all civilian and military CSDP missions and operations and EPF actions should be part of a broader political strategy designed to contribute to human security, and seek to increase the level of security and stability locally; stresses the need to integrate climate security and environment-related peacebuilding into the updated EU concepts on Security Sector Reform and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, strengthening the resilience of the relevant local governance structures, in particular as regards the quality of security services, inclusivity (especially with regard to the participation and rights of women, young people and marginalised groups in all their diversity), accountability and transparency;

38.  Stresses that the main impacts of climate change at present call for an expansion of civilian security missions, which are not part of the core business of the armed forces;

39.  Calls on the EEAS to guarantee that civilian missions and military operations are climate-sensitive by design; underlines the urgent need to prevent Union activities in fragile third countries from contributing to the scarcity of resources, the rising prices of vital resources, or environmental degradation and pollution; stresses the need to design mission infrastructure and a supply-chain that are climate- and environmentally resilient and sensitive and as energy-optimised and carbon-neutral as possible; believes it is imperative to invest massively in research into and the development of carbon-neutral fuels and propulsion systems for military vehicles on land, sea, and air and to make use of new technology such as mobile solar systems, in particular for static features, with a view to decreasing fossil fuel dependency, while ensuring the best possible match between operational performance and environmental efficiency, and without creating new dependencies on foreign actors;

40.  Proposes establishing a curriculum for a European Security and Defence College ‘train the trainers’ course to mainstream climate and environmental issues into the ordinary military training system at tactical and strategic levels; believes that such courses should be mandatory pre-deployment training for climate security advisors for CSDP missions and operations, as well as EU delegations;

41.  Believes that the carbon footprint of military infrastructure could be optimised by seeking greater energy efficiency in terms of renovation and the adapted use of renewable energy;

42.  Welcomes the modernisation efforts undertaken to adapt equipment to the extreme temperature variations caused by climate change, in particular eco-design cells, in order to ensure the durability of equipment;

43.  Stresses the need to strengthen the EU’s environment-related peacebuilding and climate security by including tasks and support efforts relating to mediation, dialogue, the protection of civilians, conflict resolution and reconciliation in order to ease climate-induced tensions between different communities competing over scarce resources, such as farmland or water, and which easily strengthen violent armed and extremist groups or transform into armed conflicts or even inter-state wars; stresses, in this regard, that adapted missions should, inter alia, focus on integrated peacebuilding, environment-related peacebuilding, and climate adaptation measures, as well as boosting civilian conflict prevention capacities; proposes that such adapted missions could focus on the following:

   (a) climate-induced scarcity of resources contributing to conflict and instability;
   (b) critical infrastructure in fragile countries and how to make them resilient in terms of security;
   (c) the protection and defence of biodiversity in a conflict-sensitive manner, in particular in ecosystems in fragile and war-torn countries;

Mainstreaming climate change into military capability development

44.  States that all military capabilities and services used by the Union and its Member States should contribute to reaching the EU’s climate targets and adapt to increasingly challenging climate conditions in order to be able, inter alia, to guarantee the fulfilment of their tasks at home and abroad; as regards climate adaptation, believes there is an urgent need for Member States’ armed forces to adapt their capabilities to increasingly challenging climate conditions;

45.  Calls for an evaluation of the impact of climate change-induced changing weather patterns and of more frequent extreme weather events on the operational effectiveness of armed forces and the capability requirements potentially resulting from them;

46.  Underlines that an increase in defence expenditure should, while bearing in mind the necessity to maintain the level of ambition of our armies, not lead to an increase in emissions, and that part of defence spending should be dedicated to investments in technologies and capabilities that significantly reduce emissions, such as electrification, and the use of carbon-neutral fuels, further underlining that climate and environmental considerations have become a key driving factor; recalls that EU and NATO military strategists and planners have been working on the question of how armed forces can reduce their carbon footprint for more than a decade; calls for the EU and NATO to develop a common methodology to help Allies measure greenhouse gas emissions from military activities and installations and adopt emission reduction targets; recalls that a reduced energy footprint and fuel demand also has a positive effect on mission security and efficiency; welcomes, in this respect, the EDA’s activities, in particular the Go Green policy, its Military Green concept, its Energy and Environment Working Group, its Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector, and its Incubation Forum on Circular Economy in European Defence; calls for an acceleration and broadening of such projects and for an independent external evaluation thereof;

47.  Notes that the EDA has concluded that the subsequent reduction in fossil fuel consumption cuts costs, decreases emissions and reduces dependencies on non-European sources, and that the number of casualties can be reduced significantly, given that there are far fewer fuel convoys for adversaries to target, thereby freeing up resources that are used to protect convoys, and that overall capabilities are made more effective through enhanced endurance, mobility and autonomy; recalls that the increase in the share of decarbonised fuels in the military may, in addition to climate neutrality, help increase security of supply and strategic autonomy; underlines that high demand for fossil fuel and long supply routes drive up the costs for missions and operations, and increase the security risk for mission personnel and contractors;

48.  Calls on DG DEFIS, the Member States, the EEAS and the EDA to adopt an approach incorporating a low energy, carbon and environmental footprint by design when implementing relevant EU funds and to regularly report on progress; underlines that following a coordinated EU-level approach is particularly important when launching research, development, modernisation, or pooling and sharing initiatives, in particular as regards military and dual-use technology and capabilities; recalls that it is strategically important to develop all technological aspects and to address the whole-life cost, together with EU-level standardisation and certification, to ensure that equipment is fit to tackle the effects of the climate crisis; welcomes the fact that the EDF contributes to the integration of climate actions into EU policies and to the achievement of an overall target of 30 % of EU budget spending on climate goals, which is the target set for the EU’s 2021-2027 budget; recalls that the research and development actions can be directed at solutions to improve efficiency, reduce the carbon footprint and achieve sustainable best practices; welcomes the relevant investment of EUR 133 million provided for in the first annual work programme, but notes that this represents only 11 % of the overall annual EDF budget; recalls the role of NextGenerationEU for climate action and calls on the Member States to use resources from their national recovery plans in order to invest in the green transition of their military infrastructure;

49.  Underlines the need to increase investments in ‘green’ defence, in particular by dedicating a higher share of military and dual-technology innovation (equipment, energy, etc.) R&D funded from the EU budget to carbon-neutral fuels and propulsion systems for military aircraft, ships and other vehicles, in particular as regards future major weapons systems (e.g. the future combat air system (FCAS) and the European main battle tank (EMBT)) and others which are developed within the frameworks provided by the EU; underlines that, given the dual nature of such investments, they have strong positive spill-over effects in the civilian sector, in particular for the ailing civil aviation industry which is looking for less energy-intensive and more cost-effective business models and technologies; believes that preference could be given to eco-design in order to limit the environmental impacts of military equipment during their life cycle, while ensuring the best possible match between operational performance and environmental efficiency; believes that the electrification of military technology should be further promoted and extensively financed via European subsidies granted through the EDF, in particular as regards weapons systems, but also in terms of housing, barracks and related heating or cooling systems, whether in the Member States or in military camps when deployed; recalls that the adaptation of defence means and their uses to climate changes, is a responsibility that lies primarily with the Member States and that the EU as such does not yet have its own capacities;

50.  Stresses the need for the EU to continuously monitor and mitigate any vulnerability and/or dependency that the ‘electrification’ of European armed forces could create, especially when it comes to accessing essential raw materials; stresses that the ‘greening’ of European armed forces, as well as their digitalisation, must under no circumstances create new vulnerabilities or make Europe or European citizens less secure;

51.  Calls for the mainstreaming of energy efficiency criteria and circular economy principles into capability development programmes and procurement guidelines, based on experience and the lessons learned by Member States and in the framework of EDA activities; asks the Member States to work on process optimisation, eco-friendly system design, construction and operation based on circularity principles, in particular with regard to Operational Headquarters and field offices; calls for the strengthening of the role of the EDA, the EDF and permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in supporting Member States, disseminating national best practices and organising regular peer-to-peer exchanges on green defence and climate change mitigation;

52.  Believes it is time to develop new PESCO projects aimed at setting standards and benchmarks concerning energy efficiency, creating new capabilities or pooling and modernising existing ones; calls on the Member States to consider the feasibility of using PESCO for setting up a corps of military engineers to focus on addressing climate-induced natural disasters and the protection of infrastructure in fragile countries; stresses the importance of including periodical reviews for assessing the progress made in such projects and addressing shortcomings as early as possible; commends the role played by joint operations to save civilians in natural disasters, such as the French-Dutch disaster management HUREX exercises in the Caribbean;

53.  Underlines that climate change and environmental degradation should be addressed in the future revision of the Civilian CSDP Compact, notably with regard to mainstreaming climate and environmental aspects into the operational tasks and training policy;

Increasing international cooperation and strengthening multilateralism

54.  Recalls the importance of cooperation as a corner stone of the EU’s leading role in addressing climate change, as set out in the Roadmap; welcomes ongoing staff-to-staff exchanges with the UN and NATO, and stresses the need for closer cooperation in this field; calls on the EEAS and the relevant Commission services to further establish dialogue with other partners, such as the African Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Canada and the United States; stresses that there is also a need to address the current lack of reliable and internationally comparable data on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the defence sector;

55.  Highlights that climate security policies must focus not only on adapting to turbulence, resource constraints and higher levels of unpredictability, but also on fostering the deeper change needed to restore ecological stability and balance at a global level;

56.  Calls for the climate-security nexus to be included as a new priority area for the UN-EU Strategic Partnership on Peace Operations and Crisis Management;

57.  Notes the stated ambition of NATO to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050; underlines the fact that 22 Member States are NATO members and calls on the VP/HR to make sure that emission reduction objectives, benchmarks and methodologies are synchronised between Member States, as they have only a single set of forces; believes that NATO and the EU should decide to treat climate security as a new area for cooperation and concrete actions; calls, more specifically, for climate change and security to be included as a new and very concrete area of cooperation in the Third Joint Declaration of the EU and NATO;

58.  Highlights the important role of parliamentary diplomacy in strengthening international ties to combat climate change, including through the work of the European Parliament’s committees and delegations, and calls for an increased focus on the climate-security nexus;

59.  Stresses that the lack of climate finance is a major barrier to meaningfully addressing climate change and building climate security; regrets the fact that in 2009, the international community promised USD 100 billion in climate finance for developing countries, but this pledge had still not been met by the time of COP26;

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60.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 170, 12.5.2021, p. 149.
(2) OJ L 209, 14.6.2021, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 99, 1.3.2022, p. 105.
(4) OJ C 118, 8.4.2020, p. 32.

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