Implications of climate change for Australia's national security

19 Dec 2018

A/Prof Matt McDonald’s research on the relationship between climate change and security has been quoted in an Australian Senate Committee Report on the Implications of Climate Change for Australia’s National Security released in 2018. The report, released in May, ultimately pointed to the potentially significant implications climate change could have for Australia’s national security, not least in the context of the vulnerability of Australia’s immediate region to rising sea levels and natural disasters. The report noted that these manifestations of climate change could contribute to large-scale population displacement in Australia’s region, along with increasing demands on Australia’s defence establishment to undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, both at home and abroad. View the full copy of this report, along with Matt’s submission.

Matt subsequently published an analysis of the Senate Committee report in the Conversation, which was reprinted by the UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction. He was also interviewed on this topic for ABC News Radio and a Beyond Zero Emissions podcast. On study leave in the second half of 2018, Matt is working on a book on the climate change-security relationship. In a trip to Europe in September he worked on collaborative projects on climate change and security with colleagues at the University of Hamburg and the Adelphi Institute in Berlin, and presented his research on this topic at the European International Studies Association conference in Prague and to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute.