British forces could be sent to stop countries cutting down rainforest

British forces could be sent to stop countries cutting down rainforests and drilling for oil, William Hague says

  • Focus of the Armed Forces could switch to guarding the natural environment
  • William Hague says it could include stopping counties cutting down rainforests 
  • He says Britain ‘cannot get away with talking the talk without walking the walk’ 

British troops could be sent in to battle to stop countries cutting down rainforests and drilling for oil, according to William Hague.

The former foreign secretary says the focus of the Armed Forces could soon switch from protecting energy supplies to guarding the natural environment.

‘In the past the UK has been willing to use armies to secure and extract fossil fuels,’ he writes in the Environmental Affairs journal. ‘But in the future, armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environments.

British Armed Forces personnel could switch to protecting the natural environment, such as rain forests

‘The UK will need to use all of its diplomatic capacity to ensure that these resources are not used and that natural environments are protected.’

Referring to Brazil, Lord Hague predicts that ‘as climate change climbs the hierarchy of important political issues, it will be increasingly difficult to square our climate change policy with agreeing a free trade deal with a country that clears a football pitch-sized area of the Amazon rainforest every minute’.

He also says Britain is too reliant on China for the components of electric batteries, warning that ‘it is now impossible for us to remain dependent on them in such a critical area’. ‘As a result, our policies towards China and climate change have become unavoidably linked,’ he adds.

Lord Hague (pictured) says armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environment

Lord Hague, who was Tory foreign secretary from 2010 to 2014, says Britain ‘cannot get away with talking the talk without walking the walk’ on climate.

The UK has launched a strategy that will see the Armed Forces going as ‘green as possible’ and last week Boris Johnson said Britain would speed up cuts to emissions so that they would be reduced by 78 per cent by 2035, compared with 1990 levels.

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