WITH CLEAN ARMS! – limiting arms import from countries avoiding climate responsibility
Dear Friend of the Atmosphere,
In Finland, we have come up with a proposal for a law to ban arms import from countries that are not part of the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.
The Finnish Defence Forces are planning a purchase of fighters. The value of the purchase is nearly 30 Billion Euros. The aircraft manufacturers from the US have also been asked for an offer. The US, however, is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.
It is not fair trade if the US can gain competitive and financial advantages on the expense of the European arms and aircraft manufacturers which bear their responsibility for climate change mitigation.
Arms industry causes carbon dioxide emissions which warm up the climate. Climate warming causes hunger, refugees, and war. These accelerate rearmament. It is not acceptable that a country or a company should be able to avoid their responsibility for climate change mitigation and thus increase global instability – and then benefit from it thanks to increasing arms trade.
If Finland were to pass a law that bans arms import from countries not part of the Paris Agreement, Finland could urge the US into joining the Agreement again.
A fighter deal of 30 Billion is a powerful enticement as such, but the US would also have to consider the possibility that other European countries – including NATO members – follow Finland’s example.
In Finland, it is possible to make a proposal for a law with 50 000 citizens’ signatures. If you want to help us in this, send a message to all Finnish citizens you know, and ask them to sign the proposal for a law ”PUHTAIN ASEIN! – asehankintojen rajoittaminen ilmastovastuuta välttelevistä maista (WITH CLEAN ARMS! – limiting arms import from countries avoiding climate responsibility).
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You can also take action to propose a similar law in your own country. You can use whatever measures citizens in your country can take to influence legislative proposals. A good idea is to contact a local member of parliament and ask them to start a similar proposal. Together we are stronger!
The Text of the Proposal
WITH CLEAN ARMS! – limiting arms trade with countries avoiding climate responsibility
We (the undersigned) urge the parliament to start legislative preparations for the passing of a law that allows the Finnish Defence Forces to import arms only from countries that are part of the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation and that are committed to the aims of the Paris Agreement.
The manufacturing country of arms and weaponry is that state whose authorities give the permission of selling or exporting the arms or weaponry in question.
The Finnish Defence Forces obtains arms and weaponry in order to be prepared for a military conflict and to prevent such conflicts in advance. The climate change with all phenomena resulting from it is one of the most significant factors causing conflicts today.
Weapons industry is heavy, high-energy industry with a big carbon footprint. If the weaponry is not manufactured in a climate-responsible way, the arms manufacturing in itself is the cause for those conflicts that are controlled by arms.
It is not ethically acceptable that a country or a company should increase global instability by avoiding their responsibility for climate change, and in this way increase the demand for their arms production.
It is not fair trade if the arms dealers in countries that avoid their climate responsibility can gain financial benefit and competitive edge on the expense of the European arms dealers that do bear their climate responsibility.
It is not beneficial to national safety if the arms industry of those countries that carry their responsibility for the climate is withered away by unfair competition with the countries that do not.
One of the biggest arms dealers in the world, the US, is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. The arms industry is one of the most powerful leaders of the US economy. The arms industry operators could pressure the US government back into the Paris Agreement if they so willed.
The upcoming fighter purchase of the Finnish Defence Forces is a remarkable arms transfer even on a global scale. By setting the prerequisite that the manufacturing country must be committed to the Paris Agreement, Finland could be setting an example of climate responsibility, promoting similar principles and legislation in other countries in the EU and UN as well as NATO.
Because of the complicated b-to-b chains and the globally integrated manufacturing processes it is perhaps not possible to find completely “climate clean” arms dealers. It must thus suffice to rule out manufacturers whose base is in countries not committed to the Paris Agreement. Multinational dealers may be considered as based in the country whose authorities give them the permission for arms export.
If national security and maintaining our defence ability so requires, we can leave out of this new law the spare and complementary parts of the Finnish Defence Forces’ existing weaponry.
This proposal for a law offers a realistic and effective way to involve both states and international businesses in the common cause of preventing climate catastrophe.
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Finnish citizens can sign the initiative here:
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