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Australian Climate Security: The Longest Conflict

Australian Military personnel help Tsunami victims, Banda Aceh, Sumatra. Photo by Benjamin D. Glass

Australian Military personnel help Tsunami victims, Banda Aceh, Sumatra. Photo by Benjamin D. Glass

Australia’s Centre For Policy Development (CPD) just released a new report, The Longest Conflict: Australia’s Climate Security Challenge. The report draws lessons from climate security policies in the US and the UK and from interviews with national security and military leaders and existing analysis. UK Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti was at the report launch event and was interviewed by the Australian ABC News. As the United States pivots to Asia, aligning with Australia to prepare for and mitigate climate risks could be an important piece to that strategy. According the report’s authors, while Australia has acknowledged the security risks associated with climate, it could do more. From the report release:

The report outlines vital actions Australia’s defence establishment can take now to manage climate security risks prudently.

As a starting point, the upcoming Defence White Paper must take this challenge seriously by laying out a roadmap for strategic action on climate security.

This should be followed by development of a Climate Security Strategy, an organisational shift to prioritise climate security across the civilian structure and the services, and commitments to enhance the effectiveness and preparedness of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Australia should engage constructively with regional neighbours to address climate security and provide leadership to ensure interoperability among military forces for humanitarian and disaster relief.

Read the full report here.


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