The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – of which Christian CND is a partner organisation – has released a new report showing the extent of spending on nuclear weapons in the nine nuclear-armed states last year.
The report estimates the states spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons (around £54 billion) meaning that on average around £100,000 was spent on nuclear weapons every minute in 2020 – as the world grappled with the Covid-19 crisis.
$27.7 billion of the money went to a dozen defence contractors, including the UK based BAE Systems, to build nuclear weapons. Those contractors then spent $117 million lobbying policy makers and up to $10 million funding think tanks writing about nuclear weapons, continuing the cycle of spending for years to come. BAE Systems spent nearly £4 million on lobbying efforts.
The United States spent the most in 2020, accounting for just over 50% of the global spending. China was second with Russia third. It’s estimated that the UK spent more than £8,300 every minute on nuclear weapons last year, at the same time as healthcare professionals were short of PPE and hundreds of thousands of people relied on food banks to feed their family.
Christian CND has been working with other faith groups in encouraging banks and pension providers to move money away from nuclear weapons. We would urge you to get in contact with any financial institutions you have dealings with and ask them to do the same.