THIS is a copy of an open letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson

WE write to you in response both to the long-held Quaker witness to peace and to the urgent need to respond with justice to the effects of the growing climate crisis. We ask you and your government to consider seriously the link between the military and climate change.

The world faces many challenges and needs new ways to tackle them. The climate crisis is the inevitable result of an approach that exploits resources without considering consequences; and the use of military power to protect the interests of the exploiters is part of the problem. The military use huge resources that could be allocated to health care and wellbeing and their use of resources such as precious metals, fossil fuels and land is adding significantly to CO2 emissions.

Quakers believe that war and preparation for war will never produce a peaceful world. The United Nations calls upon all governments to commit to targets on emissions and to be honest that these targets cannot be met if military activity is not included in the measurement of CO2.

Re-allocating resources from military use to wellbeing can be used to provide funds to mitigate against current and future impacts of climate change particularly in those regions where violent conflicts are occurring.

Craven & Keighley Quakers call on the government to reduce and reallocate its military budget, not only as an idealistic principle but as an evidence-based response to the climate crisis.

• The Paris Agreement set out that every sector of human activity is subject to carbon reporting and reduction targets, with one single exception, the global military. Independent studies [] suggest the military bootprint could contribute as much as six percent to global emissions, exceeding the impact of civil aviation.

• This figure covers the whole cycle: extraction of raw materials and manufacture of equipment and weaponry; trials and training with massive fuel use; maintenance of vast numbers of bases and buildings worldwide; use of fuels and explosives in warfare and resulting fires; and, often overlooked, the extensive rebuilding of devastated infrastructure with its reliance on carbon-heavy cement and steel.

• Global military spending is currently £1,982 billion per annum, climate finance £79.6 billion. For every £1 we in the UK spend reducing our Carbon emissions, we spend £7.40 on the military.

• We already know that war is a humanitarian catastrophe causing unfathomable suffering, but we must recognise that it is an environmental catastrophe too. The relationship between climate change and war is a vicious circle. It is now well recognised that climate change can lead to soil degradation, competition for scarce resources, mass migration and instability, thus greatly multiplying the threat of war.

We call on your government to press for mandatory targets on CO2 emissions that include the military in future climate change agreements.

We call on your government to divert money from military expenditure towards funding poorer countries for mitigation of climate change and reparations of losses already sustained.

Jette Howard and Jane Killeen (clerks)

On behalf of Airton. Settle and Skipton Friends Meetings