Military Conflicts & Climate

Although direct emissions from war, termed “Scope 3+” by the Conflict and Environment Observatory, are important, more critical are the resulting global increase in military spending and the increased Scope 3 emissions by the war industry. (See The Ukraine Crisis and the Recent IPCC Report.) Amitav Ghosh highlighted this problem in his post Ukraine invasion essay in Greta Thunberg’s The Climate Book, “…affluent nations felt able to contribute only $10 billion to a fund to help countries which are exceptionally vulnerable but had no difficulty in increasing their defence spending by $1 trillion.” 

“World military spending reached an all-time high of $2.24 trillion in 2022, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine fueled a sharp jump in military spending across Europe, according to a leading defence think tank.” - cited in

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

An assessment Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the first year of conflict in Ukraine totaled “… 120 million tCO2 e [tonnes (t) of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent (e)]. This is equivalent to the total GHG emissions produced over the same period in a country like Belgium (see Beyond just the numbers, “The forced movement of people, the destruction of agricultural land and the increased instability are being felt in Ukraine and beyond, said John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy” according to the New York Times - click here for details:

Estimated total GHG emissions resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine between February 2022 and February 2023 (De Klerk et al., 2023)

Results of studies into specific environmental impacts on Ukraine can be accessed at this report: .


War in Gaza

According to a report in the Guardian, 60 days of war in Gaza is estimated to have generated 281,315 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. 

However, to put these emissions in context, the daily emission rate from the conflict in Gaza is less than 1/30th of the daily emissions of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). (Based on a Congressionally-mandated report  from DoD.)