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Australian Security Leader Climate Group urges climate action

The Australian Security Leader Climate Group has urged the government to examine the security risks posed by climate change following a recent International Military Council on Climate and Security report.

The Australian Security Leader Climate Group has urged the government to examine the security risks posed by climate change following a recent International Military Council on Climate and Security report.

The Australian Security Leader Climate Group (ASLCG) has urged the commonwealth government to commence a nationwide risk assessment for the impact of climate change on national security, following the release of a new report from the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS).

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The ASLCG is a working group of senior Australian defence thought leaders, with Air Vice-Marshal (Ret'd) John Blackburn, Royal Australian Air Force and Dr Michael Thomas, formerly of the Australian Army working with alongside both the ASLCG and the IMCCS.

The report, titled World Climate and Security Report 2021, examines how national security will be worsened with the threat of climate change.

The report was unveiled by NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenge David van Weel, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead at the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Secretary General of IMCCS Sherri Goodman and chair of IMCCS General (Ret'd) Tom Middenthorp.

Former Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral (Ret'd) Chris Barrie, AC, outlined that climate change should be considered a security threat.

"This new report reiterates that climate change presents a clear and present danger to our collective security. Climate change is already harmfully impacting security environments, infrastructure, institutions, lives and livelihoods,” Barrie said.

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“A growing number of world leaders, including US President [Joe] Biden, are recognising that climate change is an existential security threat and prioritising action on climate and security.

“However, in our region we have yet to come to terms with climate security risks. Australia is being left behind our closest ally and European nations.

“The report underlines the need for countries around the world to immediately prioritise the security risks posed by climate change and urgently take action to mitigate against and address these risks.

“As former Australian defence and security leaders, we call on the Australian government to commit to an urgent and comprehensive Whole-of-Nation Climate and Security Risk Assessment as a first step towards ensuring our nation can address the security risks posed by climate change with clear eyes and calm minds.”

[Related: Assessing Biden’s first 100 days in the White House]

Australian Security Leader Climate Group urges climate action
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