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Hope vs fear: climate change as a security issue

What is the best way to motivate and mobilise people?

What does it mean to call a climate emergency? Military and security experts have warned that as temperatures continue to rise, so too will security risks, including in extreme cases, the risk of armed conflict. 

Event details
Date and time:
 Monday 11 November, 6.30 – 8pm
Venue: Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: free and open to all with online registrations essential

The world now needs to consider broader security strategies that protect our environment before and after climate emergencies. In extreme cases, security measures include safeguarding the survival of entire communities, such as small Pacific islands, that could be entirely submerged by rapidly rising sea levels.

Such responses demand mass mobilisation of governments, infrastructure and individuals around the globe. Is this achieveable? Recently 7.6 million people around the world provided the strongest demonstration yet that the answer is yes, when they united for climate change strikes to advocate for more decisive action.

Is it worrying and/or unavoidable that climate change is turned into a security issue? How do we imagine the future of democracy and international relations around a ‘climate emergency’?

The speakers

Ole is a Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, founder of the Centre for Advanced Security Theory, and Director of the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts.

Internationally he is mostly known for coining within security theory the concept of 'securitisation' and as one of the main figures in developing what is often referred to as the 'Copenhagen School' in security studies. His most recent writings in relation to securitisation theory have applied the theory to religion and climate change.

Jess was first elected to council in 2016, and is one of the youngest people to hold elected office at the City of Sydney. Jess served as Deputy Lord Mayor from 2017-18. Jess is currently Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee and the Cycling Advisory Committee, and a member of the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils.

Jess is known for her creative and inclusive approaches to sustainability, strategy and innovation. Jess co-founded GreenUps Sustainability Drinks, Grow it Local and the Elizabeth Street Gallery, and she has worked on the Garage Sale Trail, Tweed Ride and Grow Show – which featured an enormous veggie patch and education programs outside Melbourne Town Hall.

Charlotte's interests are in the areas of international relations theory, particularly in post-structuralist approaches and discourse theory, critical security studies and global environmental politics.

In her book, The Power of Words in International Relations: Birth of An Anti-Whaling Discourse, she approaches the topic of whaling both as an object of analysis in its own right and as a lens for examining the role of discursive power in international relations.

Olivia is a fourth-year law student at the University of Sydney.

Event information

This event is free and open to all but online registration is essential.

Simply click the 'Register now' button or follow this link.

Entry to ticket holders will be prioritised and given on a first-in, best-dressed basis until the room reaches capacity. If an event is full, this may result in standing room or delayed admittance until an appropriate time.

We recommend early arrival to allow time for finding the venue and securing a seat to the event. Doors open 15 minutes before the advertised start time. 

If you could not register but would like to attend, you are welcome to join a stand-by queue on the night as seats may become available due to late cancellations. Please note, this is not guaranteed so you come at risk of non-admittance.

This venue provides infrared hearing system. You can take the lift down to Level B1 to reach the Auditorium Foyer. There are wheelchair spaces available for seating.

Access requirements

If you have other access requirements or want more information, get in touch with us on 9351 2943 or email with 'Access | Nov 11 – Security' in the subject line at the earliest opportunity to allow us time to organise for any additional services in time for the event.

Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium is on Level 1 of the building opposite Charles Perkins Centre Hub on John Hopkins Drive (next to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital), off Missenden Road.

You can also enter via the Ross Street entrance: the venue is next to the ovals.

Public transport

The closest bus stop is the University of Sydney Ross Street Gate, Parramatta Road (Opposite Glebe Officeworks). It is a five-minute walk to the venue. Use the University Campus Map tool to locate the bus stop. You can take the bus from Central Station (routes 412, 413, 436, 438, 440, 461, 480).

The venue is roughly a 30 minute walk from Redfern station.

There is some on-street parking around Forest Lodge and Glebe.

There is also paid parking available at Western Avenue Carpark. Head to the University's Parking page for more information about fees and opening hours.

Use the University Campus Maps tool to find out more details about parking and access areas: search for the 'Charles Perkins Centre'. 

Event image: Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

Getting there

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