Almost two trillion US dollars are spent on armaments worldwide every year. The current crisis demonstrates more urgently than ever that our financial resources are needed elsewhere: To build resilient global and local economies founded on 100 % renewable energy. Instead of pursuing anachronistic Cold War policies such as “nuclear sharing”, we need to focus on what really matters. The corona pandemic is a powerful reminder of how sensitive our economic system is to disruptions. It challenges our deeply ingrained faith in an economy based on boundless consumerism – and instead offers a historic opportunity to embrace a new era. All available resources must now be mobilized to combat the fossil pandemic and halt the climate crisis. EUROSOLAR therefore demands that defence budgets be rededicated and used for the long overdue and peace-building energetic restructuring of Germany and Europe.
In the German Parliament, the country’s Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer argued for a multi-billion-euro plan to replace Germany’s fleet of outdated Tornado fighter jets. Last month she made a case to the defence committee for procuring up to 93 Eurofighters and 45 F-18 fighters from the US manufacturer Boeing in the near future. The head of the social democratic parliamentary group, Rolf Mützenich, objected and called for a debate on how to create a peaceful international order without nuclear weapons. In an interview, he argued for the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Germany and for Germany to withdraw from NATO’s nuclear sharing. Mützenich justified his demand above all with mistrust of the US government under Trump. Due to changes in their nuclear strategy, the “use of these weapons in Europe has become much more likely again”. Therefore, nuclear weapons on German territory threaten our security.
We demand that we go one step further and use that budget for a rapid restructuring of our energy systems to fight the climate crisis and boost the economy – a ‘climate defence budget’. Only a decentralised energy supply with 100% renewable energy from wind, sun, water, biomass and geothermal energy sources can create the basis for achieving climate stability and ending our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Decentralized, renewable resources combined with storage technologies are the basis for resilient economies and a world in which conflicts and wars can be replaced by peace and cooperation.