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The Australian National University

Climate Change and National Security

Chinese soldiers

Climate change is both a threat multiplier and a transformative force. It exacerbates tensions in areas with existing global instability, increasing the risk and changing the nature of conflict in international relations.  But climate change is also an indicator of transformative changes in our planet that will require us to adapt human systems: politics, commerce, agriculture, and the shape of civil society. This makes climate change a core security issue.


How Australia prepares to respond to this emerging threat will affect the security of our nation, relations with our neighbours and the scope of our international obligations.

This course explores the threat that climate change poses to global security and the implications for environmental and human security. It seeks to identify the potential global, regional and national implications of climate change over the next 20–30 years from an Australian national security perspective. You will be challenged to consider what can and should be done in the policy context to maintain security in the light of a changing climate. You will explore how climate change can be interpreted as a security challenge and leave with the ability to articulate the nexus between climate change and national security.

Topics discussed will include:

  • climate change as a planetary boundary
  • observed and projected trends and impacts
  • how climate change is playing, and will play, into regional and global stability and conflict
  • the impact climate change will have on energy security
  • implications of projected food and water scarcity
  • global impact and the emergence and pressures of environmental refugees.
  • implications for Defence operations
  • linkages with the national security sector, disaster preparedness and resilience.

By participating in this newly developed program, you will engage with leading authorities to better understand the global impacts of climate change and its intersection with regional security and stability. They include:

  • Francesco (Frank) Femia, Co-Founder & President of the Center for Climate and Security and Co-Chair of the Climate and Security Advisory Group (USA)
  • Dr Alan Dupont, CEO of Cognoscenti and one of Australia’s best known strategists, Asianists and thought leaders with an international reputation for his work on geopolitical risk, foreign policy, defence and national security
  • Dr David Spratt, Research Coordinator for the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration in Melbourne and the author of Climate Code Red.

Course Approach

The program will be delivered in an intensive and interactive two day format. Themes will be developed through presentations and facilitated discussion. Speakers will be drawn from the senior ranks of the public sector and academia including leading international authorities on climate science and economics from ANU. They will have significant expertise and practical experience in the development and implementation of policies that seek to manage climate change and to mitigate the risks associated with it The program will identify, through interactive discussion, the relevant and important issues facing the participants and their organisations.

Who should attend the course?

This course is designed for professionals, analysts and leaders in the public and private sectors who may be specifically involved in climate change policy issues or who would benefit from an understanding of this subject.

Course details

This is a two-day non-residential, fully-catered course.

An ANU parking permit will be supplied.

The fee for this course is $2,110 (GST exclusive) for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $2,550 (GST exclusive). Please contact us for information about becoming an NSC Partner organisation.

Next date and venue

6 - 7 June 2017
National Security College

Crawford Building #132a

1 Lennox Crossing
The Australian National University


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Main image: NASA on Flickr


Updated:  17 May 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/ Page Contact:  Web administrator, National Security College