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Defence Procurement: Net Zero Carbon Emissions Target

Volume 688: debated on Monday 1 February 2021

What steps he has taken to help ensure that defence procurement contributes towards the UK meeting its net zero carbon emissions target. (911603)

Sustainability is considered at all the appropriate stages of the acquisition lifecycle, from setting requirements to disposal. In addition, we are improving sustainability in the defence estate, which offers a significant opportunity for the future.

We face a climate crisis, and we must build back greener out of the pandemic. Will the Government undertake to do more to increase investment in research and development in low-emission planes and ships, working in collaboration with the civil sector? Will he meet me and Airbus, and others, to discuss the opportunities to boost innovation and production of non-military planes and ships—like the US does with Boeing—to help us meet our net-zero obligations? Will he boost exports, so that defence expenditure can be used to defend us against climate change?

We are focused on the Government’s world-leading commitment to net zero 2050, and defence will, without doubt, play its part. A lot of work is ongoing regarding how we can increase our activity in that sphere, but we have discussions with commercial entities and throughout the MOD about how we can tackle carbon emissions throughout the armed forces. That includes, recently, clearing MOD planes to use up to 50% sustainable aviation fuel. That is a good step in the right direction, and others will undoubtedly follow.