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As Asia faces climate change upheaval, how will Australia respond?



26 April 2012

The image of plucky Australian resilience and self-reliance in the face of global environmental crisis sits in contrast with the reality, writes Associate Professor Tim Stephens.

In an article for The Conversation, Associate Professor Stephens looks at how climate change could affect security in Asia as the world warms.

"Climate change may set off a compounding set of regional and global crises which will have major impacts upon Australia," he writes.

"While Australia shares no land, and few maritime, boundaries with other states, we are situated on the periphery of the densely populated and politically complex Asian region.

"Here, many states are assessed to be extremely vulnerable to climate hazards.

"Australia's future is inevitably tied to the way these nations and Australia itself respond to the security challenges posed by climate change in the Asian century.

"At least initially, much of Australia's attention may need to be focused on the Pacific.

"Climate change threatens already struggling Pacific microstates.

"Australia is likely to be drawn into situations akin to that in the Solomon Islands in 2003, where the institutions of government crumbled and the country was on the verge of becoming a 'failed state'.

"However the main game in terms of security challenges over the longer term will be played out in Asia."

View the entire article - As Asia faces climate change upheaval, how will Australia respond? - The Conversation

Associate Professor Tim Stephens has been selected to go to Canberra on 10 May with 4 other academics to have a roundtable discussion with Ken Henry, Chair of the Australia in the Asian Century Taskforce established by the Prime Minister.

Further information - Australia in the Asian Century

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

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