Senate committee reports on security impacts of climate change

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Senate Committee has tabled its report on the implications of climate change for Australia's national security, recognising the range of risks climate change presents for Australia, including sea level rise, bushfires, droughts, extreme rainfall events, and higher-intensity cyclones.

The Committee's recommendations included:

  • that the Commonwealth Government commits to providing ongoing adequate funding for climate science and research organisations;

  • the development of a climate security white paper, or similar planning document, to guide a coordinated whole of government response to climate change risks;

  • that the Commonwealth Government develop a National Climate, Health and Well-being Plan based on the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia that was the released last year by the Climate and Health Alliance;

  • that the Commonwealth Government consider the need for a dedicated climate security leadership position in the Home Affairs Portfolio to facilitate coordination on climate resilience issues, including disaster risk reduction, infrastructure planning, community health and well-being, and emergency management;

  • that the Department of Defence create a dedicated senior leadership position to assist in planning and managing the delivery of domestic and international humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as pressures increase over time;

  • that national security agencies increase their climate security knowledge and capability by encouraging participation of staff in available courses;

  • that the Commonwealth Government extend the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience and review after the new funding arrangements are well established and data is available on the funding available for mitigation activities;

  • that the Commonwealth Government provide further funding for international climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures, in addition to the existing aid budget, to the extent that financial circumstances allow.

The full report is available here.

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