Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s national security impacted by climate change: Senate investigation

Senate investigates climate change’s impact on national security, Michelle Wisbey@MichelleWisbey1, 13 Aug 2017,Climate change could become a “driver of poverty and inequality” and a threat to Australia’s security if it is not addressed, a senate committee was told. 

The call came as submissions closed for an inquiry examining the implications of climate change on national security. Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie sits on the committee and said defence had been proactive in the area, but needed to be better.  “Defence needs to work more productively with local government and businesses in terms of defence procurement to ensure everyone is meeting environmental standards,” she said.   “I would like to see voluntary national service implemented to ensure when natural disasters strike, we have the numbers to support SES and the communities affected.”

The inquiry will also investigate the capacity of national security agencies to respond to the risks of climate change, as well as the role of climate mitigation policies.

The Climate Council said in its submission to the inquiry that climate change posed a growing threat to human well-being, and would go on to put the Australian Defence Force under significant pressure. “These events affect individuals and societies through the displacement of people, damage to critical infrastructure, and damage to health and livelihoods,” it said. “The ADF will increasingly be called upon to deliver humanitarian assistance in response to extreme weather and its impacts both at home and overseas.”

Former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie said urgent action was needed to mitigate the “potentially disastrous consequences” of not taking action. “We are approaching a time soon when there will be a serious possibility that no amount of effort in deploying the limited resources we have available will be able to ameliorate the national security problems and challenges we are confronting,” Admiral Barrie said.

World Vision Australia recommended that a Climate Change Strategy for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade be developed and implemented.“The impact of climate change on vulnerable communities in the Asia-Pacific region is of concern to Australia, and left unaddressed will likely become a driver of poverty and inequality,” it said. “Over time, this will have implications for the security and stability of Australia’s region.”

August 14, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

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