CAAT report: UK focus on military power is diverting much-needed resources from the climate crisis

CAAT report on UK military and climate crisis spending

  • New report from Campaign Against Arms Trade calls for the climate crisis to be ‘first duty of government’
  • UK government spends more than twice as much on military as it does on climate change
  • Report to be presented at event in parliament TOMORROW

A new report, published by Campaign Against Arms Trade, calls for mitigating the climate crisis to be treated as the ‘first duty of government.’ The report Fighting The Wrong Battles – How Obsession With Military Power Diverts Resources From The Climate Crisis by Sam Perlo-Freeman will be presented at an event in parliament TOMORROW.

The report argues that UK military spending does not address the real threats to human security which are largely not ones that can be addressed by military power: these include disease, natural disasters and growing inequality. While the programmes for Trident replacement and new large aircraft carriers go ahead, the same financial support is not provided to tackle the biggest threat to the security of people in the UK and worldwide – the unfolding climate catastrophe.

Analysis in the report shows that the government spends more than twice as much on the military as it does on mitigating climate change. The report argues that “The balance of priorities for these two areas of spending should be clear. Climate change represents an existential threat to the UK and the world. Loss of the UK’s status as a global military power does not.”

Fabian Hamilton MP is hosting a meeting to discuss the report TOMORROW, Tuesday 3rd March, from 11.30am to 1pm in Room C, 1 Parliament Street. The report’s author, Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, CAAT Research Coordinator and former head of military expenditure at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and Anna Vickerstaff, UK Team Leader at, which works to end the use of fossil fuels and build community-led renewable energy, will be speaking before a wider discussion.

The ship has already visited ports in the USA and Canada. It is now in Europe; on Monday it left Bremerhaven to head to the UK. It will also be visiting France and Italy before travelling on to the Middle East. It was meant to stop at Antwerp, but was stopped by protesters. It is also expected to be met with protests in France and Italy. This morning, a group of CAAT supporters protested outside Tilbury port.

Sam Perlo-Freeman from Campaign Against Arms Trade said:

The climate crisis is not only an environmental crisis, it is also one of human security. It is already causing catastrophic damage and loss of life worldwide. The recent floods have shown how ill-prepared UK infrastructure and government responses are today. As climate change worsens then so will the impact of floods and extreme weather events.

If we are to make the changes that are needed, that means moving towards a vision of climate justice and sustainable security. We must focus on the real threats to human well-being, recognise the interdependence of security for people around the world, and ensure that our economic systems remain within the bounds set by nature.

Read the full report here.

CAAT would not exist without its supporters. Each new supporter helps us strengthen our call for an end to the international arms trade.

Keep in touch