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On the heels of Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments in Jakarta, Indonesia on the security implications of climate change, Australia’s Chief of Army noted that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will need to plan for the security implications of a changing climate. According to Australia Network News, Lieutenant General David Morrison stated: “We have to look at the region, with a number of low-lying islands, to be confident in drawing conclusions that there will be a role for the military as a result.” In terms of what that might mean for the ADF, Lieutenant General Morrison noted that the “most likely role for the military” would be “providing immediate assistance for humanitarian and disaster relief.”
These comments build on previous concerns expressed by the ADF, including in a conference on climate change organized by the ADF in the autumn of last year, and Australia’s 2013 National Security Strategy – released under the previous government.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) ran an interesting article recently about a series of briefings in Canberra organized by Australia’s Department of Defence, aimed at assessing climate change risks and implications for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). According to a presenter, Professor Steffen, the Department of Defence “…wanted to get a handle on the idea of tipping elements in the climate system that could cause rapid change that would be very difficult for human societies to deal with…” (more…)