Defence is the single largest institutional consumer of hydrocarbons in the world. In the UK, the defence sector accounts for approximately 50% of central government greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, responding to growing pressure from civil society and defence industry, both the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and NATO recognised that the carbon cost of military operations needed to fall. However, academics and policymakers have yet to meaningfully address the implications of ‘Net Zero’ ambitions for the future character of military operations. 

NETZMIL aims to assess the actual and potential impact of the UK Government’s Net Zero ambitions on military operations. The project has been co-designed through consultations with key stakeholders from across UK Defence and NATO. Using the UK as a case study, NETZMIL will illuminate key concerns, challenges and opportunities around how militaries in general can retain operational effectiveness whilst supporting the transition to a Net Zero world. 

Ultimately, NETZMIL will generate new knowledge regarding the opportunities and challenges of ‘Net Zero’ military operations. This knowledge will be disseminated across UK Defence, NATO and the wider international community. NETZMIL will also facilitate the creation of an international community of practitioners (academic and non-academic) that will draw upon the findings and insights generated by the project to guide future decisions about policy, strategy and doctrine, nationally and internationally.