Climate and Security Policy Centre
Climate change is a global systemic threat that will have enormous consequences for Australia’s national security and for international security more broadly. Its impacts are already being felt globally in record-setting extreme weather events that are contributing to poverty, hunger and humanitarian disasters.
The pace at which these and other climate impacts emerge is accelerating. The existing commitments States have made to reduce greenhouse gases are inadequate to prevent warming beyond the two-degree cap set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Even with additional reductions, the climate will continue warming for decades from the greenhouse gases already released to the atmosphere.
The impacts in the Indo-Pacific region, the most disaster-prone globally, will be profound. Climate hazards will not only exacerbate existing regional challenges, such as separatist movements, territorial disputes, terrorism and great power competition, but also contribute to food insecurity, population displacement and humanitarian disasters on an unprecedented scale. The cascading impacts will undermine political and economic stability and increase the risk of conflict. For Pacific Island countries, climate change is an existential threat.
The objectives of the Climate and Security Policy Centre are to:
- Evaluate the impact climate change will have on security in the Indo-Pacific region, including by identifying the most likely paths through which disruptive climate events (individually, concurrently or consecutively) can cause cascading, security-relevant impacts such as disruptions of critical supply chains, energy insecurity, food insecurity, separatist movements, humanitarian disasters, population displacement, opportunistic intervention by outside powers, political instability and conflict.
- Develop practical, evidence-based policy recommendations and interventions to reduce climate change risks and promote their adoption by policy makers.
- Increase Australian and regional expertise, understanding and public awareness of the links between climate change and national security.
- Identify the implications of these links for key stakeholders, including the Australian Defence Forces, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, other government agencies, parliamentarians and the private sector.