Australia spy chief Andrew Shearer to assess climate change security risks

Bloomberg
‘Like many governments around the world, the Albanese Government does see climate change as a security issue, as well as being a central environmental and economic issue.’
Camera Icon‘Like many governments around the world, the Albanese Government does see climate change as a security issue, as well as being a central environmental and economic issue.’ Credit: AAP

Australia’s top intelligence official will investigate national security threats arising as a result of climate change, as the new Government attempts to improve the country’s reputation on climate action.

Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence Andrew Shearer has been asked to assess “the implications for national security of climate change”, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

The scope and terms of reference for the review are still under discussion, according to the statement.

One option being considered was the establishment of a permanent Office of Climate Threat Intelligence, The Guardian Australia reported, without saying where it got the information.

A 2021 report by the US National Intelligence Council warned of a growing risk of conflicts over water and migration, and more food insecurity, by 2040 due to climate change.

The report labeled island nations near Australia in the Pacific as among the most highly vulnerable in the world.

Since coming to power in late May, the Government has attempted to repair Australia’s global reputation on climate change.

On June 16, Albanese signed and submitted his government’s new climate action targets of 43 per cent emissions cuts by 2030 to the United Nations, up from a maximum of 28 per cent under the previous administration.

The pledge will bring Australia in line with nations such as Canada and Japan. Still, it is still less ambitious than climate action proposed by major developed economies such as the US, the European Union and the UK.

“Like many governments around the world, the Albanese Government does see climate change as a security issue, as well as being a central environmental and economic issue,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.

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