Climate impact of new fighter jets

Petition: 447

Issue(s): Climate change; Environmental assessment; Human/environmental health; Toxic substances

Petitioner(s): A Canadian resident

Petitioner Location(s): Waterloo, Ontario

Date Received: 5 October 2020

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition raises concerns about the environmental and climate impacts associated with the 88 new fighter jets that the federal government plans to purchase through the $19-billion competition that it launched in July 2019 and expects to finish in 2022. The petition is concerned about the fuel consumption and carbon emissions from the 3 fighter jet models under consideration and their impact on climate change. The petition asks whether National Defence has considered these jets’ adverse climate and environmental effects in accordance with the federal Policy on Green Procurement.

The petition also expresses concerns with Canada’s ability to adhere to its international climate change and emissions commitments while purchasing new fighter jets. The petition states that the department is the largest federal consumer of fossil fuels and the largest federal producer of carbon emissions and that fighter jets themselves emit excessive carbon emissions. The petition is also concerned that the department does not report the greenhouse gas emissions from its military activities and operations. The petition asks whether the department has considered the fuel consumption and carbon emissions of the 3 fighter jet models and whether the federal government has a plan to offset the carbon emissions from the new fighter jets.

In addition to concerns about emissions, the petition raises concerns about the impact that the firefighting foam, which is used to prevent and control jet fuel fires, has on soil and water. The petition also asks whether the department has considered the jets’ noise levels and their impact on human and animal hearing.

Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: National Defence