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Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Many Small Countries Like Sweden: Study

The study, published Wednesday, is the first of its kind to compile such comprehensive data.

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Updated:June 14, 2019, 9:58 PM IST
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Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Many Small Countries Like Sweden: Study
The study, published Wednesday, is the first of its kind to compile such comprehensive data.

The U.S. Department of Defense, better known by its metonym The Pentagon, was responsible for emission of 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases between 2001 and 2017, making it the largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world.

The Pentagon’s emissions were “in any one year… greater than many smaller countries total greenhouse gas emissions,” according to research by Brown University.

The study, published Wednesday, is the first of its kind to compile such comprehensive data, according to a CNBC report.

It showed that if Pentagon was listed as a country, its emissions would make it the world’s 55th largest contributor of greenhouse gases.

“Although the Pentagon has, in recent years, increasingly emphasized what it calls energy security — energy resilience and conservation — it is still a significant consumer of fossil fuel energy,” Neta Crawford, the study’s author and a political scientist at Boston University, said in a statement.

“Indeed, the DOD (Department of Defense) is the world’s largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world,” Crawford said.

Using and moving troops and weapons accounted for approximately 70% of the DOD’s energy consumption, largely due to the burning of jet and diesel fuel, the study said.

In 2017, the study estimated the Pentagon had released about 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, significantly higher than annual emissions by Portugal and Sweden

The Global Carbon Atlas ranks Portugal and Sweden as 57th and 65th respectively for its carbon dioxide emissions.

“The U.S. military has begun greenhouse gas emissions reductions, but there is room for much steeper cuts,” Crawford said.

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