BLUF

Climate change must be a security priority for the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

Summary

Climate change is a threat multiplier. As we have seen recently with bushfires, droughts and floods, our region is highly exposed. More extreme weather, declining river flows, less migratory fish and water and food scarcity could destabilise countries and make conflict more likely. This is on top of conventional, unconventional and hybrid security risks including independence movements, piracy, and serious organised crime. Nine of the top ten climate exposed countries are in this region. Sea level rise will create climate refugees from countries as diverse as Kiribati and Bangladesh and affect the habitability of mega cities like Bangkok, and Jakarta. Many ADF bases are near sea-level requiring protection or relocation.  In the South Pacific, Australia coordinates Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) with NZ and France. More resources and capabilities may be required. International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) can help incorporate climate change into defence policy. What do you think should be in that policy?