13 September 2023
UNDERSTANDING AND PREPARING FOR CLIMATE SECURITY THREATS TO AUSTRALIA
DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE A STRATEGY TO PREPARE AND PROTECT AUSTRALIA?
13 September 2023: Zali Steggall MP hosted a crossbench briefing today with the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group calling for the Government to outline its strategy to address climate induced national security threats.
The briefing comes as the Government continues to refuse to share the findings of its own Office of National Intelligence's (ONI) Climate Risk Assessment and has not announced any security strategy to prepare for and respond to increasing national security threats emerging from climate change.
Steggall said, “The climate change crisis is a threat to Australia’s national security. The Government's response to date has been on limited mitigation emissions reduction measures. While these measures are vital, the broader geopolitical context must be considered, and significant preparation is urgently needed.
Concerns such as mass population displacement, food scarcity, the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, and the need to provide substantial aid packages to our Pacific neighbours as their countries are impacted by rising sea levels must be addressed with a clear national security strategy but so far, the Government is silent.”
Steggall is alarmed that the Government’s Defence Strategic Review, released in April 2023, barely acknowledges the national security threat of climate change, and fails to outline any national strategy to prepare for and defend against climate induced threats.
She said The Security Leaders have a unique perspective on the security implications of climate change. The briefing will outline what The ONI Risk Assessment is likely to include, what risk methodologies Australia’s allies are using and what strategies and actions are needed to protect the nation.
“The government's refusal to share its climate risk assessment is a disservice to the Australian people, who deserve to know about the risks posed by worsening climate change and the strategies that will be required to prepare and protect our country as these risks escalate.
The crossbench has called for the Government to release its national climate security strategy response, and will continue to do so, so that Australia can make informed decisions about how what’s required to protect our country from both environmental and geopolitical risks posed by climate change.”
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