Higher temperatures; more intense extreme weather events, including heatwaves, cyclones and wildfires; changes to local climates threatening water and food supply; and rising sea levels are all examples of major threats affecting our global and national security. These accelerating climate impacts are expected to increase the risk of civil unrest, conflicts and fuel mass refugee movement within our region over the coming decades.
Such impacts will threaten Australia’s security in many ways, including our energy security; our export market and vital imports, which are at risk from disruption to production and supply chains; breakdown in social cohesion, and increase the potential for state failure and regional crises.
Right now, these climate-security risks are not being fully assessed or understood in Australia. There is a poor understanding of the reality of near-future systemic security risks posed by climate change, which constitutes a major strategic gap.
As a result, Australia is failing in its responsibilities to protect its people and be a global citizen as a major strategic defence ally. Our nation is ill-prepared for climate impacts, instead fuelling security implications in one of the highest risk regions in the world, the Indo-Pacific.
The ASLCG will work to reframe the climate debate and make climate an immediate security priority in Australia by assessing the full level of oncoming risk and building resilience for local and global protection. We will do this by:
We are calling for a Whole-of-Nation Climate & Security Risk Assessment.
We call on the Australian Government to work with leading scientific institutions and national security apparatus to undertake a comprehensive and publicly transparent risk assessment to investigate the oncoming security threats that climate change poses to both Australia and our region and outline an actionable framework for how our nation can adequately and successfully respond to these threats. This critical review is a vital step towards resolving a major strategic gap that currently exists in Australia.
The Australian Security Leaders Climate Group (ASLCG) exists to reframe the climate narrative, making climate an immediate security priority. By assessing risk and building resilience, we act to secure local and global protection.