Military vehicles, along with the forces that use them and the industries that supply them, account for five per cent of the world’s carbon emissions every year, according to figures.
The US military consumes more petroleum than any other institution on earth to fly jets, heat buildings, and ferry food and supplies to 750 bases spread across the world
The Department of Defence has embarked on a decarbonisation push in recent months, claiming to be in the process of building a greener American fighting force.
In a December Executive Order, President Biden pledged to cut the federal government’s carbon footprint to zero by 2050, but exempted anything related to national security.
The Pentagon, which boasts over 6,000 battle tanks and more than 200,000 non-combat vehicles, has a record of developing new policies intended to curb greenhouse gases, and a massive budget of roughly $700 billion annually to carry them out.
The Army last year hosted a demonstration at Fort Benning, Georgia, for potential electric reconnaissance-vehicle concepts.
‘Height of irresponsibility’
The Georgia branch is planning for all non-combat vehicles to be electric by 2035, and to start using electric tactical vehicles by 2050.
It did not lay out how it would overcome potentially significant logistical difficulties of deploying an electric-powered kit, however.
Some Republicans in Congress have previously signalled their objection to the ambitious plan.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas’s office has previously said climate programs distract from the military’s “core mission.” They said: “allowing climate alarmists and Green New Deal enthusiasts to undermine or distract from that core mission is the height of irresponsibility and endangers the safety and lives of Americans.”
Mr Biden’s climate agenda has been marred by setbacks, a year after he took office amid a flurry of climate-related promises.
The 79-year-old’s signature climate bill – which he hoped would become his legacy – has gone nowhere in the Senate, and his call for more domestic fossil fuel production to combat rising gas prices is in real doubt.