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Australia’s climate change inaction labelled a threat to national security

Australia’s Climate Change reputation is not shaping up too well, with criticism from national and international sources mounting.

On September 5, a senior UN official warned Australia that the climate crisis would “wreak havoc” on its economy if coal production is not phased out soon. Resources Minister, Keith Pitt, responded by regarding the UN as a “foreign body” that should mind its own business.

If that didn’t make matters worse, just last Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison nonchalantly admitted to pressuring the UK to drop climate change commitments from their trade deal.

Image: Financial Times

In March this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged all OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries to “end the deadly addiction to coal” and to phase out coal production by 2030.

While OECD countries aim to phase out the production of coal by this deadline in order to meet the Paris Agreement goals, Australian politicians are incredibly reluctant to let go of the destructive, albeit lucrative, industry.

According to Keith Pitt, Australia plans to continue coal mining “well beyond 2030” – a comment that has attracted international and national criticism.

In an interview with CNN, Dutch member of the European Parliament, Bas Eickhout, expressed his disappointment with the Australian government and their reluctance to adhere to climate change efforts, “Of all the developed countries, Australia has the poorest standing on climate. It’s clear that Australia will just be absent, basically, from the talks,”.

Image: Guardian

Former Australian Defence official, Cheryl Durrant, expressed her concerns that Australia’s reluctance to adhere to sustainable climate change will threaten our national security.

As our key allies integrate broader ideas of national security to effectively address climate change, tensions may well arise if Australia does not follow suit.

US President Joe Biden labelled the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ida as a “code red” – signalling the highest level of threat that requires an urgent response. The impact Ida had on the community was a key wake-up call to the dangers imposed on citizens if a proper response to climate change is not adopted.

Further, Biden’s defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, stated that climate change is “making the world more unsafe and we need to act”. Echoing Durrant’s concerns, Austin mentioned that no nation could expect lasting security without addressing climate change effectively.

Austin is expected to meet with Peter Dutton at the AUSMIN talks (Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations) this Thursday.