The Australian Security Leaders Climate Group includes current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and defence sector and security practitioners.
Its leadership includes former Chief of the Defence Force Professor Admiral Chris Barrie (retd), former Defence Department Director of Preparedness and Mobilisation Adjunct Associate Professor Cheryl Durrant and former Australian Army Officer of 20 years Major Michael Thomas (retd).
The group says a Whole-of-Nation Climate and Security Risk Assessment is required for Australia to fully comprehend the scale, risk and impacts of climate change on Australia and our region, including on social cohesion, energy security and import and export markets. According to the group, the assessment should also outline a framework for how our nation can adequately respond to these threats.
The group aims to make climate an immediate security priority in Australia through raising public awareness on the security threat of climate change, undertaking strategic research, developing policy recommendations and working with government and department officials to secure action on climate-security threats.
Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn AO (retd) states, “The first duty of the Australian Government must be the safety and security of its citizens. Today, the Government is failing to address the growing impacts of climate change and therefore failing to protect its own people. Unlike the pandemic, we cannot quarantine ourselves from climate change and there is no vaccine.”