Australia’s recent bushfires and our current healthcare crisis have tested the resilience of our governments and communities and demanded coordinated responses at national, state and local levels. In an age of climate change and other global environmental hazards, the need for whole-of-government coordination is likely to become even greater.
Although it has not yet been a principal focus of climate change planning in Australia, ‘climate security’ is fast becoming an important area of study. As part of a project funded by the Department of Defence, we have just completed a review of climate resilience issues in the Indo-Pacific region.
A central conclusion from our study is that Australia will struggle to maintain its national security in the face of climate change unless government departments and agencies are well coordinated and can work collaboratively with neighbouring countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Effective coordination and collaboration will be needed to respond to the kind of threats climate change poses to Australia’s sovereign borders and territories, and to our existing national security provisions.