Nato should examine how it can power tanks and jets with alternative energy, such as solar panels, to reduce its carbon emissions, the alliance’s secretary general said.
Reducing reliance on fossil fuels would also make troops less vulnerable to attack because they would not have to rely on long supply lines getting fuel to the front line, Jens Stoltenberg said.
The Nato chief suggested that militaries should advance research into low-emitting vehicles because of the advantages they bring, at an online seminar titled New Ideas for Nato 2030.
“Nato should do its part to look into how we can reduce emissions from military operations,” he told the Chatham House event. “We know that heavy battle tanks or fighter jets and naval ships consume a lot of fossil fuel and emit greenhouse gases and therefore we have to look into how we can reduce those emissions by alternative fuels, solar panels or other ways of running our missions.”
The carbon emissions from a 60-tonne US Abrams main battle tank are calculated to be the equivalent of 10 Mercedes-Benz cars.
Mr Stoltenberg said putting solar panels on tanks would be good for the environment and would also increase the resilience of troops on military operations.