On 14 February 2020, François Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, attended the presentation of the "World Climate and Security Report" which will be officially introduced by General Tom Middendorp at the "Munich Security Conference" this weekend and which was previewed to the Luxembourg press.
Indeed, the International Military Council on Climate and Security examined the impact of climate change on human security and on the defence sector and provides a summary of the current situation and a number of recommendations.
While climate change is not considered a direct and sole cause of conflict, it is nevertheless described as a multiplier of risks and threats in an environment often marked by other weaknesses and worrying developments, such as poverty, high population growth, generally weak governance and, as a result, increased competition for access to natural resources, including in particular arable land and drinking water, which are essential for human life and survival.
Tom Middendorp advocates that military efforts play a leading role in helping to identify and address climate change issues. "It is no longer exclusively up to the lobbies to raise awareness, but also to the generals and officers," the General said.
François Bausch confirmed that Luxembourg is engaging in this discussion at the national level with a view to reducing the carbon footprint of its army and at the international level by introducing the subject on the agenda of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Defence) and at the UN, respectively NATO.
"The Härebierg Barracks is being completely renovated according to the standards for reducing the energy consumption of existing buildings in order to improve their energy performance. In addition, as much energy as possible will be from renewable sources," says Deputy Prime Minister Bausch. "When it comes to the acquisition of new vehicles, we focus on hybrid and even electric models. In any case, the new calls for tender will bear the signature of the environmental sustainability criteria. In general, these criteria will be applied to all acquisitions and renovations, such as the shooting range in Bleesdall or the ammunition depot in Waldhof. Two thirds of the land now belonging to the Waldhof military zone will be returned in full to the Natura 2000 area, free of all ammunition residues.
The "World Climate and Security Report 2020" is a study published by the International Military Council on Climate and Security and conducted jointly by several international research centres (The Center for Climate and Security, Council on Strategic Risks, Clingendael Institute, IRIS and The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies) on the impact and security risks of climate change.
Press release by the Directorate of Defence