CUMBRIA and Lancashire Area Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has gained national support in its calls for greater job diversification.

One of the businesses specifically highlights by the campaign was BAE Systems in Barrow where submarines are built for the Trident.

CND’s 2021 National Conference voted for a resolution from the group which included calls for policies securing and diversifying job opportunities for workers through investment.

The resolution, moved by Irene Sanderson from North Cumbria CND, emphasised the need for military emission reduction targets to be included in the commitments to be made by parties at the forthcoming COP26 conference.

Philip Gilligan from South Lakeland and Lancaster District CND said: “In May 2020, Scientists for Global Responsibility and Declassified UK reported that the carbon footprint of British military spending is 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year which is similar to the emissions produced by six million cars.

"Meanwhile, the Government plans to markedly increase military spending, by upgrading the Trident system and increasing the number of nuclear missiles it carries, by deploying huge new aircraft carriers and expanding overseas military bases. These will all obviously increase the military’s carbon emissions.

"Indeed, the only way our country can minimise the environmental impacts of its military is to move away from its aggressive military posture. We need to cut back on the manufacture and deployment of highly polluting warships and combat planes and to decommission Trident.

"We need to devote many more resources to tackling non-military security threats such as pandemics and climate change and to doing much more to tackle the roots of conflict in the world. And we need to engage in both comprehensive ‘arms conversion’ and retraining programmes for workers like those at BAE Systems in Barrow.”

Barrow MP Simon Fell expressed concerns that the aims of the campaign would lead to weaker national security.

He said: "The submarine programme is reliant on an incredibly diverse workforce who deliver one of the most technically complex projects ever produced.

"We should be incredibly proud of what those highly skilled people in our community do, and of the opportunities which the SSNR programme and AUKUS deal offer. That these jobs could be diversified away is for the birds.

"What CND are really calling for is weakened national security, thousands of job losses, and the cratering of our local economy and they’ll use any excuse to achieve it."

A spokesperson for BAE said: “We have set a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations by 2030 and across our value chain by 2050.

"In order to achieve these goals, we’re investing in low to zero energy carbon products and renewable energy solutions, supporting our supply chains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pioneering new technologies to help customers move towards net zero.”