Is Obama making the military reduce its carbon footprint?



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         In January 2010, the Department of Defense announced that it would reduce its non-combat greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2020. This is in compliance with an executive order signed by President Obama to reduce the Federal Government’s total emissions 28% by 2020. Reducing the energy demands of combat activities is also a priority for the military. 

         Critics say that worrying about carbon footprint in a time of war will weaken the military, but increased efficiency has military advantages. For example, more efficient vehicles mean less need for resupply, which means fewer of the convoys that are prime targets for attack in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

         Dorothy Robyn, the deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told the Senate, “Unleashing war fighters from the tether of fuel and reducing [military] installations’ dependence on a costly and fragile power grid will not simply enhance the environment, it will significantly improve out mission effectiveness.” 

         The United States Military still has a long way to go to become environmentally friendly, however. Its carbon footprint makes it one of the world’s largest polluters. 

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