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The climate crisis: Defence readiness and response

Source(s):  Ministry of Defence (New Zealand)

This Defence Assessment draws on extensive research and eight months of New Zealand and South Pacific-based discussions on climate change and security with officials from countries across the Pacific, notably member countries of the South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting, as well as with academics and civil society from across New Zealand and the Pacific region. In this assessment “Defence” refers to both the New Zealand Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force.

Key points include:

  • The intensifying impacts of climate change will continue to test community resilience and heighten security challenges across the culturally diverse Pacific region. Pacific Island countries are disproportionately affected, even though they only account for approximately 0.04 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The links between climate change and conflict are indirect but demonstrable. When the effects of climate change intersect with a complex array of environmental and social issues, they can be significant contributors to both low-level and more violent conflict. Security implications can be further magnified by weak governance and corruption.
  • The impacts of climate change will require more humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, stability operations, and search and rescue missions. The New Zealand Defence Force may be faced with more frequent and concurrent operational commitments, which will stretch resources and may reduce readiness for other requirements

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  • The climate crisis: Defence readiness and response
  • Publication date 2018
  • Number of pages 10 p.

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