Thursday, December 06, 2018

Climate Change: A threat to our security

If we don't stop it, climate change threatens to cause famine, migration, war, and death. and now NZDF has recognised the obvious: that all of this is a threat to New Zealand's security:

Climate change has been identified as one of the "most significant security threats of our time," according to a new report by the Ministry of Defence.

It said climate change was "already having adverse impacts both at home and in New Zealand's neighbourhood".

The assessment identified the particular security impacts which may arise as a result of climate change.

These included vulnerable populations losing their economic livelihoods, increased food and water scarcity, malnutrition, climate migration, health-related crises, competition for resources, land disputes and the potential for increased violence from mismanaged adaptation or migration.

The Stuff report on this has a lot more detail, but it basicly means NZDF is going to have to do a lot more disaster relief, both here and in the Pacific, as well as potential "stability operations" if climate change causes severe disruption to Pacific societies. And that's going to mean changes to how we equip them. Unstated is that the best way to deal with this security threat is to prevent climate change, by supporting strong global action to reduce emissions, and taking such action ourselves. But that bit isn't really defence policy...