The US Army has begun taking steps to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2015, to comply with a 2007 order by President Bush.
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Reuters reports that the Army's push to reduce its carbon "bootprint" is not just about protecting the climate. Using less fuel makes troops safer, Tad Davis, the Army's deputy assistant secretary for environment, safety, and occupational health told the news agency:
In the first years of the Iraq war, the long supply chain stretching from Kuwait to the battlefield put convoys at risk from makeshift bombs called IEDs. Much of the cargo was fuel, Davis said.
The more vehicles in the convoy, the more soldiers were vulnerable; so it made sense to cut down on the amount of fuel required on the front line.
"If we can reduce consumption on our forward operating bases by using renewable energy, let's say wind or solar instead of a diesel generator outside the tent ... then we can reduce the number of these supply convoys that need to come forward that are getting hit by these IEDs," Davis said.
Some 85 percent of the energy used by US forward bases in Djbouti, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan is used in air conditioning, an Army survey found. This energy use could be cut by 45 percent by spraying foam insulation directly onto tents, Davis told Reuters.