Comparing official UK statistics for military greenhouse gas emissions

There are serious concerns that the official data published by different government bodies for UK military greenhouse gas emissions are neither consistent nor complete enough to adequately guide policy-making in this area.

This short technical paper analyses the main data sets published by the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and finds that there are major discrepancies between them, that none gives a complete picture of scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, and that ‘headline’ figures presented from these data sets considerably understate emissions – by between 36% and 71%. If lifecycle emissions were included, that understatement would be considerably larger.

Recommendations are made for key steps to rectify these problems, thus making these statistics much more suited to guiding policy decisions.

Author: Dr Stuart Parkinson

Publication date: 17 January 2022

Download pdf of paper