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We need a new approach to defence policy that focuses on climate change

Australian Greens Peace and Disarmament spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has reiterated his calls to fundamentally restructure our defence force, after a speech prepared for ADF Chief Angus Campbell - released under FOI - warned climate change could stretch our capacity and had the potential to "exacerbate conflict".

Senator Steele-John agreed climate change was the biggest threat in our region and said preparing our defence force for the impacts - food and water shortages, increasing natural disasters and mass displacement of people - must be an absolute priority.

"When even the Chief of the Australian Defence Force is pleading with this government to acknowledge climate change and take urgent action to prepare for the likely impacts in our region, something has got to give!

"As droughts, floods, wildfires and extreme weather events become increasingly common in Australia and our region, it’s clear that climate change is causing more harm than ever before. These natural disasters, as well as rising sea levels, will increase the pressure that leads to violent conflict.

"The Australian Defence Force are clearly concerned about climate change and the challenges it will present in the region, so why is our government continuing to spend hundreds of billions of dolars on outdated weapons and military technology?

"It's clear that we need a new approach. Now is the time to invest in the training and acquisitions needed to align with the reality of the climate crisis!

"In that context, military expenditure such as the submarine project and the joint strike fighter program make absolutely no sense. It's time to end these wasteful projects and redirect resources to the areas that our ADF will be called upon in the future to address the reality of extreme climate change."

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