Jobs and the Economy
Meanwhile other sectors with vastly greater potential are starved of government investment and political support. The most obvious example is renewable energy technology, which features high-tech manufacturing and the same engineering skills sets as arms production. The contrast in market potential is starkly summed-up by Defence Industry publisher, Jane's:
The defense market worldwide is worth a trillion dollars annually. The energy and environmental market is worth at least eight times this amount. The former is set to contract...; the latter is set to expand exponentially, especially in the renewables arena.
However, in 2011 the government spent 30 times more on arms Research & Development than it did on renewable energy R&D.
Because arms jobs are paid for by taxpayers, resources can be redirected. Shifting priorities to tackle climate change could have a dramatic impact. It could secure green jobs for the future and improve human security rather than threaten it.
Get involved: we'll be doing much more on "shifting priorities" over the coming months. Sign up to CAAT's email bulletin to follow developments.
- Defense News 9 July 2012. Interview with Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems: "The market is completely stagnant. Our peers are not doing much, either."
- UK Research & Development spending on arms was £1,560 million in 2010/11 (BIS, SET Statistics 2012) while R&D for renewable energy was £50.3 million in 2011 (International Energy Agency, R&D Statistics)