There is no doubt that the climate change It is one of the main challenges that we will face as a society in the coming decades. The European Union is leading global efforts to try to mitigate its effects and adapt to its consequences, as we are seeing these days during the celebration of COP26 in Glasgow, for example, through the Global Commitment on Methane to reduce emissions of this gas by 30% in this decade. In Spain, we are preparing to reduce our global emissions by 55% by 2030, as a preliminary step to climate neutrality in 2050.
Achieving such ambitious goals requires a collective effort to which the whole of society must contribute. In this sense, the industry faces the double challenge of strengthening its contribution to the long-term growth of the economy and quality employment; and to do so through the manufacture of goods that are competitive in the coming decades. To do this, it is necessary to accelerate the digital transformation of the industry and incorporate climate considerations into decision-making so that new products are as respectful as possible in terms of their carbon footprint, their inclusion in the circular economy or respect for The Biodiversity.
At the same time, industrial production must reduce its impact on the environment, increasing its energy efficiency, turning to renewable energy sources, shortening its logistics chains and making better use of raw materials. To achieve this, the public-private collaboration is essential, with the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism as the main instrument.
Industrial production must reduce its impact on the environment, increasing its energy efficiency
But for the Defense industry, this commitment is twofold, because we have the essential role of providing the Armed Forces with the equipment they need to guarantee the safety of citizens. Armed Forces that know first-hand the risk posed by climate change, since for years we have seen them helping and combating the more adverse weather eventssuch as forest fires or, more recently, the Filomena storm or the volcano on the Island of La Palma.
How could it be otherwise, militaries around the world are preparing to adapt to the new operating environment. The European Union is leading this process with its Roadmap on Climate Change and Defense, but also the US Department of Defense, which has just published its Climate Adaptation Plan.
What we can appreciate is, on the one hand, the need to operate in more extreme environments, as well as greater conflict due to the scarcity of natural resources such as water.
To try to avoid this, we are aware of the need to mitigate the climate impact of Defense-related activities, a task in which the industry has a pre-eminent role as system designer and manufacturer. In this effort we are convinced that the The only possible path is that of investment in R+D+I.
We are aware of the need to mitigate the climate impact of activities related to Defense
According to the latest data published by KPMG in its report ‘Economic and social impact of the Defense, Security, Aeronautics and Space Industry’, the TEDAE industries generate 1,900 million euros in R&D&I in the economy as a whole, between direct and indirect investment, and they are consolidated as one of the main drivers of innovation in Spain together with other strategic sectors such as the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.
As part of this process of incorporating climate aspects into the sector, what many of our companies are discovering, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, are the operational advantages that these technologies bring. For example, the ability to generate electricity through wind or solar power on a forward base greatly reduces the logistical fuel footprint of deployments. The same happens with the regeneration of energy in vehicles or hybridization, which also makes it possible to reduce their acoustic signature.
What is important not to lose sight of in this roadmap towards decarbonisation is the need to have the necessary support and access to financing like any other industrial sector. Within the framework of the implementation of environmental, social and good governance (ESG) criteria in business management, and in the search for more sustainable finances, no industry should be left behind.
*** César Ramos is general director of TEDAE.