Arms to Renewables

Work for the future: create more and better jobs and a safer world for all

The waste of the arms trade

Map showing weapons in Ukraine and RussiaThe UK is pouring resources into an industry which has a devastating impact on security at home and abroad.

UK-made weapons have been used in Israel’s attacks on Gaza, and to repress democracy movements across the Middle East. We armed both Russia and Ukraine – and supplied all sides in Libya’s civil war.

Military action taken in our name in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted millions of deaths, greater instability, and an upsurge in violent extremism.

Arms sales don’t enhance security: they fuel conflict, support repression and make the world a more dangerous place for all.


We all pay the price

Till showing cost of Trident and fighter jets

We’re subsidising arms companies by hundreds of millions of pounds a year to export misery and destruction around the world.

At home, the government is spending billions on military technology we do not need, while vital public services are being cut.

The government justifies its support for the arms trade by arguing it needs to protect high skilled manufacturing jobs.

But despite all these resources, the number of jobs in the arms industry is on a long-term decline. Today the industry is, in its own words, ‘flatlining at best’.


A safer world

Offshore wind turbinesWe have another vision – one which guarantees highly skilled manufacturing jobs that will be there in the future – and which creates the kind of future we might want to see.

Real security involves tackling the causes of problems, not creating more. Climate change is one of the biggest threats that we face. Millions of people already face food and water shortages. Extreme weather events, flooding and droughts will displace populations and create conflict over resources. If we really want a safer world, we must cut carbon emissions fast.

The UK is in a powerful position to play its part. Offshore wind power has amazing potential. We have the largest wind resources in Europe and already have as much capacity installed as the rest of the world combined. We also have substantial wave and tidal resources.


Better jobs

Map of the UK with engineers and wind turbinesCAAT’s research shows that a move towards offshore wind and marine energy could produce more jobs than the entire arms industry.

These jobs would provide alternative employment for arms trade workers. Like arms, the renewable energy sector is highly skilled. It has a similar breakdown across broad categories of skill levels and employs many of the same branches of engineering.

There would also be appropriate work available in most areas where arms workers are located, with tens of thousands of supply chain jobs that could be located anywhere in the country.
These would be better jobs for the workers and for all of us: jobs in an industry which is growing not declining, which create a safer, rather than a more dangerous world.


The need to act

Arms to RenewablesIf we invest now the UK would be in a leading position in technologies that will be in high demand, will have major export potential, and will also help other countries cut their carbon emissions. But this potential won’t be realised without action.

One of our first tasks is to ensure there is proper debate on the UK’s security policy and role in the world from 2015. We need your voice to demand a strategy that focuses on real threats, such as climate change, and delivers the resources we need to tackle them, rather than one which fuels conflict and repression with arms sales and destructive military intervention.

Add your voice and share the campaign to help build our movement for change and a new vision.