09/05/2023 | |

GDAMS 2023 Appeal · War Costs Us the Earth

Global Days of Action on Military Spending – April 13 to May 9, 2023

The world’s militaries are responsible for roughly five percent of global Greenhouse Gas emissions, however their carbon footprint, as well as the various other ways that they contribute to climate breakdown, are rarely scrutinised. Our governments currently spend more than US$2 trillion on militarisation, but military expansion is inconsistent with efforts to reach essential emissions targets and will exacerbate, not stem, the climate emergency. War and armed conflict lead, not only to death and destruction, but also to environmental devastation and climate breakdown. Although our governments may argue that such “defence” spending is necessary, it will ultimately render us defenceless in the face of the existential threat posed by the climate crisis.
Global heating poses a major and sustained risk to our planet’s climatic cycles and the resultant weather-related disasters often exacerbate existing injustices – and this can lead to conflict for access to land and basic resources, as well as forced displacement. Tackling Climate change must involve dealing with other structural problems such as poverty, economic shocks and weakened institutions. This is particularly true in regions that have contributed the least to the climate crisis, yet are impacted the most by its devastating consequences.
As well as their carbon footprint, the world’s military structures also contribute to the climate crisis in other key ways:
– Crucially, military spending diverts resources away from essential environmental and social spending, including initiatives to slow the speed of climate change, deal with loss and damage and to respond to weather emergencies.
– Military structures in the form of national armies, militarised police forces or private security companies are often deployed to protect the fossil fuel industry. This sector is one of the largest producers of GHG and military protection of it makes it complicit in these emissions.
– Although we urgently need to protect our ecosystems from environmental destruction, all too often when environmental activists take steps to safeguard their lands, rivers and seas, they are violently repressed by militarised security structures including the police, private security companies and, at times, the army.
– The nexus between fossil fuel and extractivism, and armed conflict and war is well documented, from the colonial period to the wars of today.
– More and more people are being forced from their homes due to extreme weather events brought about by climate change. In the same way that the border security apparatus currently contains people and stops them from reaching safety or seeking asylum, the military will likely be further deployed to keep out those fleeing climate-related disasters.
– Moreover, the arms industry, which in many ways is the backbone of militarism, invests significant time and finance in corporate lobbying to advance its own profit-driven agenda. In recent years it has used the climate crisis as an opportunity to position itself as a key player in designing ‘greener’ weapons and has lobbied for more funding to be earmarked for that purpose. This approach prolongs and deepens the logic that drives militarism and war.
Political leadership has focused on hawkish politics and sabre-rattling, stoking tension and fear, instead of cultivating international relations based on mutual trust, diplomacy and cooperation – three components that are essential to tackle the global nature of the climate threat. Funds that could be used to mitigate or reverse climate breakdown, and to promote peaceful conflict transformation, disarmament and global justice initiatives, are instead being spent on militarising an already over-militarised world.
We urgently call on governments to:

  • change course and focus on rapid, deep cuts to military spending, driving an arms race and fuelling war;
  • demilitarise public policy including policies designed to tackle the climate crisis;
  • implement human and common-security-centred policies that protect people and planet and not the profit-driven agenda of the arms and fossil fuel industries;
  • create governance structures and alliances based on mutual trust and understanding, cooperation and true diplomacy, where conflict is resolved through dialogue, not war.

The opportunity cost of doing otherwise just can’t get any higher.
War costs us the Earth.

Sign the Appeal as an organization here.

This appeal is also available in German, Catalan, Italian, Dutch, Korean, Norwegian and Spanish (other languages will appear here soon).

Updated on May 9, 2023

1Actions for Development and EmpowermentCM
3Alianza Global para Ministerios e Infraestructuras de Paz América Latina & el Caribe – GAMIP. ALCAmérica Latina
4Alianza Iberoamericana por la PazUS
5Alianza por el Desarme NuclearES
6Alternativa Antimilitarista.MOC/ADNVES
7American Friends Service CommitteeUS
8Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign on Military SpendingNZ
10ARBA CádizES
11Asociación Española de Investigación para la Paz (AIPAZ)ES
12Asociación Española de Investigación para la Paz (AIPAZ)ES
14Aturem les guerres BagesES
15Bff. Bestemødre for fred i ArendalNO
16Brandywine Peace CommunityUS
17Campaign Against Arms TradeGB
18Canadian Voice of Women for PeaceCA
19Cátedra UNESCO de Filosofía para la PazES
20Catholic Peace MinistryUS
21Centre Delàs of Peace StudiesES
22CGT Confederación General del TrabajoES
24Comisión General Justicia y PazES
25Conscience CanadaCA
26Coordinadora d’ONGD i aMS de LleidaES
27Corruption Tracker ProjectGB
28Demilitarise EducationGB
29Ecologistas en AcciónES
30Área de Paz y Solidaridad de Ecologistas en Acción AndalucíaES
31Grupo de Noviolencia Elaia-AAMOC de El Puerto de Santa MaríaES
32Sindicato USTEAES
34ENAAT – European Network Against Arms TradeBE
35Eulalia NemcováSK
36Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR-USA)US
38Gamip América Latina y el CaribeAR
39Gamip América Latina y el CaribeAR
41Gernika GogoratuzES
42Glossop Peace GroupGB
43Greek Observatory of International Organisations and Globalisation-PADOPGR
44High Peak Green New DealGB
45HRM Chapter of the Council of CanadiansCA
46Institute for Policy StudiesUS
47International Peace Bureau (IPB)DE
48Just Peace QLDAU
49Kendu KateakCR
50Kingston Peace Council / CNDGB
51Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APDHA)ES
52Coordinadora de Organizaciones para el Desarrollo-EspañaES
53La Guerra Empieza Aquí (LGEA)ES
54London Campaign Against Arms TradeGB
55Merseyside CNDGB
56Michiana War Tax RefusersUS
57MOC ValènciaES
58Mouvement de la Paix – FranceFR
59Movement for the Abolition of WarUK
60Movimiento Por Un Mundo Sin Guerras Y Sin ViolenciaCL
64National Campaign for Sustainable Development NepalNP
65National War Tax Resistance Coordinating CommitteeUS
66New Jersey Peace ActionUS
67Nkhadze Alive Youth OrganizationUS
68North American Climate, Conservation and Environment(NACCE)US
69Northern Friends Peace BoardGB
70Norwegian Peace AssociationNO
71Nouveaux Droits de l’HommeCM
72Nova Scotia Voice of Women for PeaceCA
73Oblatas del Santísimo RedentorES
74Observatoire des armements / CDRPCFR
75Observatorio por el Cierre de la Escuela de las Américas en ChileCL
76Oregon Community of War Tax ResistersUS
77Pax Christi England and WalesGB
78Peace ActionUS
79Peace Action New York StateUS
80Peace BoatGR
81Peace Movement AotearoaNZ
84People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)KR
85Peter PokornýSK
86Religions for PeaceUS
87Rete Italiana Pace e DisarmoIT
88Rotterdam BIJ1NL
89Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR)GB
90SCRAP WeaponsTR
91Shadow World InvestigationsGB
92Share The World’s ResourcesGB
93Stop Fuelling War, Cessez d’alimenter la GuerreFR
94Stop WapenhandelNL
95The Global Sunrise ProjectCA
96The Norwegian Peace CouncilNO
97The Peace & Neutrality AllianceIR
98The Peacemovement of Esbjerg, DenmarkDK
99The Polar BlastNZ
100Tipping Point North SouthGB
101Transnational Institute (TNI)IE
102Unipau – Universitat Internacional de la PauCAT
103United for PeaceSK
104Vrede vzwBE
105Vrouwen voor Vrede EnschedeNL
106War Resisters’ InternationalGB
107Western New York Peace CenterUS
108Whatcom Peace & Justice CenterUS
109WILPF CanadaCA
110WILPF EspañaES
112Women Against Nuclear PowerFI
113Women Against WarUS
114Women for Peace, FinlandFI
115Women in Black, LondonGB
116Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Aotearoa SectionNZ
117Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)GB
118Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom AustraliaAU
119Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, USUS
120Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, NorwayNO
121World BEYOND WarUS
122World Without WarKR
123Youth Fusion – Abolition 2000 Youth NetworkGB