Climate Change Versus Defense: The Swedish Case


Although the militaries of the industrial West certainly are interested in and in some cases actively pursuing new forms of energy sources to operate their forces, clearly defense needs to operate with fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

But a EURACTIV story highlights a warning from the Swedish military that Sweden’s climate change goals may actually undercut their ability to defend Sweden.

“Sweden’s ambitious plans to stop using fossil fuels may endanger and limit the military’s ability to carry out its tasks, while biofuels will fail to power most vehicles and could also be unsuitable for Scandinavia’s cold surroundings, the country’s military has warned the government.

“War remains an unlikely scenario, but the military may be needed when natural disasters or other crisis situations occur.

“Moreover, Sweden’s Armed Forces have pointed out that the country may hinder itself with its climate targets and have called for a military exemption to be considered, reported Sweden’s financial newspaper Dagens Indudstri and Russia’s Sputnik News.”

And one might point out that the Nordic defense reset is underway because one can not assume war notably war the way the Russians play it is unlikely.

Being an energy rich country, Russia can fuel an ambitious military enabled foreign and security policy.

Certainly, no Russian military officer is shooting off a memo to Putin with a similar message tot that of the Swedish military.