UN Climate Conference

Fossil Fuel Interests, Militarism and Wars,  Met by Intensifying Resistance at COP28 

The brazen positioning of Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), as the President of the 2023 Convention of the Parties (COP28) by host country the United Arab Emirates (UAE) resulted in global outrage. As rising temperatures and devastating climate impacts have hit communities worldwide, the media is finally getting it. 

Global media coverage included a leaked ADNOC document showing that Al Jaber had been expected to use COP to further their business deals, this was followed by Al Jaber’s comment that the science didn’t call for phasing out fossil fuels to meet the 1.5 C goal.  Another leaked memo, from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was intended for delegates from OPEC nations telling them to refuse to sign an agreement that even mentioned the words. “fossil fuels.” In the end, though, all of them DID sign such an agreement.  Global pressure would have it no other way.

Nonetheless, what we got was a highly flawed agreement with weakened language that ignored the needs of frontline and developing nations. The UN COP process is NOT delivering, as the first ever Global Stocktake made clear. The Loss and Damage fund was finalized, but embarrassingly the US pledged a mere $17.5 million for the fund. The 1.5 C goal was kept, but without the science-based imperatives to support it. There was no support for moving forward with the Paris Agreement's expectation of differentiated needs and differentiated responsibilities, as Samoa made clear.  It failed the world and future generations.  It was too little too late.

With Gaza under siege and bombardment, some leaders addressed Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.  Serbia’s President Vucic asked, “If we are not capable of delivering results in this (wars), how can we be sure to deliver the very best results in climate change issues as well?

This connection between militarism, wars, and climate has always at the heart of the Climate Crisis and Militarism Program (CCMP), and we are not giving up.  Many of our allies played a role at COP28. The Costs of War Project, Tipping Point North South (TPNS), the Conflict and Environment Observatory (COEBs), Transnational Institute (TNI), Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and others made sure that our shared demands were heard. They report meaningful forward movement towards meeting the goals of our shared agendas.

As never before, the need to address the impacts of militarism and wars on the climate crisis was a message that resonated.  Protests calling for Peace for Climate Justice spread the word.  In a closing meeting, Michelle Benzing, representing WILPF and the Women and Gender Constituency, asked: “Why is there always money for war, but not for climate?”  She was standing just a few feet directly in front of outgoing Climate Envoy John Kerry. Michelle, he heard us through you.   


Cindy Piester
CCMP Steering Committee
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Environmental Working Group COP 27 NGO delegate/observer
Official COP 28 Virtual Participant

Please read:

Revealed: UAE plans huge oil and gas expansion as it hosts UN climate summit



See a selection of videos from COP27 including speeches by President Biden, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and others 

Cindy Piester addresses US State Department at COP27

CCMP at COP27: Our Accomplishments

Heading out to the COP 27 [2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference] in Sharm el Sheikh [in November] an NGO delegate, I hoped to move forward the conversation on the need for the United Nations to count all emissions, including military emissions, so that we might limit warming to the 1.5 Celsius rise above pre-industrial times by the century’s end.



The suffering of the Global South is overwhelming. The Saharan Desert is expanding. At the same time, floods have destroyed housing, schools, crops, livestock, fresh water supplies and sanitation facilities. This has culminated in putting populations at risk of epidemics of cholera, malaria and starvation.

The U.S. long held the record as the world’s largest cumulative emitter of greenhouse gasses (GHG). Our military is the world’s largest institutional user of fossil fuels and the world’s largest institutional producer of GHG emissions, yet these emissions, thanks to the U.S. government, have flown under the radar since the Kyoto Accords in 1997. Researchers tell us that military emissions globally are about 5% of the whole annually, yet reporting them remains optional and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change protocols serve to intentionally obscure any military emissions reported by mixing them in with civilian emissions.

Pictured above: Cindy Piester addresses the US State Department at COP27 on issues related to military emissions impact on climate and UNFCCC reporting protocols.

Pictured below: Al Gore at COP27 event, Egyptian Youth Delegates, and Cindy wearing a CCMP bumper sticker.



VFP Statement on Results of COP26 - If COP26 is the "last best hope for the world" as Climate Envoy John Kerry stated, the USA is largely responsible for the failure to achieve that "hope." President Biden says the USA is "... leading by the power of our example". The Veterans For Peace Climate Crisis & Militarism Project (CCMP) believes that the USA's poor "example" led to the half-measures achieved at COP26.

...CCMP understands the Biden Administration and U.S. Congress cannot pivot from decades of pursuing global military dominance to seriously addressing the climate crisis without political support from the American people. Consequently, going forward we plan to support efforts, such as Congresswoman Barbara Lee's (CA-13) resolution H. Res. 767, which calls for the monitoring and reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. military. We in CCMP will continue our programs of public education and advocacy, online and in person. By highlighting the emissions of the single largest institutional source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, CCMP will enlist allies in support of reprioritizing resources to defend against the real threat to USA's security, the climate crisis.

Read the full statement on COP26 here!