INTENSIFYING climate change poses a serious threat to Australia’s national security and we are not sufficiently prepared, according to a new submission released from the Climate Council.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzies said urgent reforms are needed in order for Australia’s defence forces to deal with the vast and far-reaching impacts of climate change.
She warns more resources and stronger planning is needed to enable the defence force to tackle the increasing threat as extreme weather events, such as bushfires, floods and cyclones become more intense.
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“The Australian Defence force will have to play an increasing role at home and in the Pacific as extreme weather events become more frequent and forceful,” Ms McKenzies said.
“This requires more resources and strong planning. To bury our heads in the sand would risk not being able to cope effectively.
“When it comes to tackling this threat, Australia is at risk of being labelled Missing In Action, all while the UK and US militaries have spent years preparing for intensifying climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels.”
It comes after 2016 was named the hottest year on earth, smashing consecutive records set in 2015 and 2014, as a result of rising greenhouse gas levels from the burning of coal, oil and gas. See below story.
McKenzie said the Climate Council’s recommendations span from military planning and operations, through to training, testing and acquisition.
“These recommendations have already been rolled out and implemented in the US and the UK. Australia cannot ignore these critical footsteps already taken by our strategic allies,” she said.
“We’ve even seen the fingerprints of climate change in Syria’s civil war. The country’s severe drought, which was exacerbated by climate change, contributed to instability in Syria.”
“This should serve as a warning signal for the Australian Defence Force. Australia and its military must be equipped and prepared in the face of worsening climate change.”
AUSTRALIA’S HOTTEST JULY ON RECORD
AUSTRALIA has just endured its hottest July on record.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s ‘Australia in July 2017,’ report shows that Australia experienced its warmest daytime mean maximum temperature on record in July this year.
Record warmth was experienced in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Climate Councillor and climate scientist, Professor Will Steffen said the latest record-breaking temperatures are part of a long and growing list of heat-related records here and around the world, driven by climate change.
“While many other countries, including our major trading partners and allies, are reducing their emissions, Australia continues to reach disappointing new heights with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions rising again in 2016, jumping by 1.4 per cent,” he said.
“Australia is failing to tackle climate change, adding to global carbon pollution.
“This puts Australians at increasing risk from worsening extreme weather events, including severe heatwaves, bushfires, intense rainfall and coastal flooding as a direct result from the burning of fossil fuels such as a coal, oil and gas.”
“The solutions to the climate challenge are at our disposal, the Federal Government has an opportunity to adopt effective climate and energy policy by supporting the investment of clean, affordable and sustainable renewable energy and storage technology.”
The new record comes as Australia’s latest quarterly greenhouse gas emissions data (March 2017) remain hidden from the public.