On December 8, 2019, the New Zealand Minister of Defence Hon. Ron Mark, with Minister for Climate Change Hon James Shaw, released a Climate Change Implementation Work Plan for its defence force, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan. The plan was co-produced by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force, and follows on the heels of the Defence Capability Plan released in June, which included the “Climate Crisis” as one of its key chapters. To read the full report, click here, and to read the press release, click here. A contact in the New Zealand Ministry of Defence sent along the following summary:
- Responding to the Climate Crisis puts actions to the recommendations from The Climate Crisis: Defence Readiness and Responsibilities, a Defence Assessment released by the two Ministers one year ago. As outlined in the October 2019 assessment Advancing Pacific Partnerships, Defence has undertaken a range of efforts to promote discussion on the security implications of climate change in the Pacific. Responding to the Climate Crisis supports the spirit of the Boe Declaration Action Plan and aims to demonstrate Defence’s pragmatic and proactive approach in responding to climate change.
- The Implementation Plan highlights Defence’s current efforts and commitments relating to climate change, and how we will grow best practice and raise our ambition over time. Defence has developed a four pillar model – “Respond, Adapt, Mitigate and Engage” – to capture the 2018 recommendations and advance Defence’s work on climate change. The plan identifies next steps Defence will take prepare for the challenges climate change will bring over the next decade.
The New Zealand Ministry of Defence has demonstrated notable leadership on climate change in recent years. The plan is well worth a read, and worth looking at as a model for other governments, and other defense ministries.