The event featured a diverse set of speakers that illuminated various angles of these intersecting issues, from global trends around military spending and military emissions to grassroots testimonies of the compounding impacts of militarisation and the climate crisis.
If you missed the event, you can watch the recording below:
Learn more about this topic and get to know our allies working to bring peace to the agenda of multilateral climate change processes. Here are some resonating quotes 👇
“If we were to combine the world’s militaries, they would be the 4th largest national emitter behind China, the US and India– but without thorough and accurate reporting, there is no accountability for their impact.”Ellie Kinney, Conflict and Environment Observatory
“If we look at what the world spends money on today, we see little evidence of a real concern for the planet and people most impacted by climate change. This year we had the biggest global spending on the military ever, 2.24 trillion USD. Spending on the military is actively diverting from tackling the climate crisis and supporting those most impacted. There’s [also] little evidence that the military can be greened. There are yet no alternatives to the vast amounts of fuel used by fighter jets, ships and tanks.”Nick Buxton, Transparency International
“The people of the Mariana Islands are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and are experiencing compounding issues of simultaneously being a major fence line community to the US military. The military currently occupies a third of the island of Guam and the toxic footprint of the military on the island is exhaustive. On Guam alone, there are 100 identified toxic waste sites and unexploded ordnances. These are direct results of the colonial driving engine of the US government.”Adrien Salazar, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
“A systemic and transformational approach to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage is needed – one that addresses power inequalities, safeguards women’s rights, and enables women to participate meaningfully, and lead. Feminist approaches to demilitarization, decarbonization, and climate finance are integral elements of such an approach.”Dr. Marisa O. Ensor
“Many people and governments tend to forget that the military as such may be a perpetrator as well. Not only are militaries huge emitters, but militarization as a process poses a direct threat to marginalized and oppressed groups and often specifically targets women activists in all their diversity and Indigenous activists.”Sheena Anderson, Feminist Foreign Policy
“Sudan is in a debt crisis and yet there seems to be more priority towards the military. It’s also a context in which the climate crisis has affected millions over time. The same communities that are facing floods and drought are now also facing war. That is the crisis of Sudan.”Ishraq Abdalla, Me and Youth
“Food insecurity, caused by the climate crisis, has affected our communities in Zimbabwe because everyone is now rushing to engage in artisanal gold mining. In some cases, the police and the military are used to come in and “protect” the mining sites. However, communities are resisting: some are monitoring levels of pollution resulting from extractive industries, reporting it to civil society organisations for litigation, while others have resisted eviction for over three years.”Edwick Madzimure, WILPF Zimbabwe
Want to learn more?
For a deep dive into this topic, speakers have shared key resources which you can find here.
WILPF will continue to raise the issue of demilitarisation at COP28 and beyond. If you want to get involved, please reach out to Katrin Geyer, WILPF Environment Advisor at katrin.geyer (a) wilpf.org.