CANBERRA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has directed the nation's intelligence chief to review the security threats posed by climate change.
Albanese has tasked Andrew Shearer, head of the Office of National Intelligence, to lead an assessment of the implications of climate change for national security.
The review, the final terms of which are still being established, will consider whether Albanese's new Labor government should set up an Office of Climate Threat Intelligence, which would be responsible for updating the list of threats.
"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," a spokesperson for Albanese told the Guardian Australia on Wednesday.
"The director general of the Office of National Intelligence will coordinate an assessment of the implications for national security of climate change."
Last September the Climate Council published a report that found "Australia faces substantial climate and security risks."
It said that the former coalition government's support for the fossil fuel industry was "actively undermining" Australia's national security and called for rapid action.
Retired Admiral Chris Barrie, a former Australian Defence Force (ADF) chief and executive member of the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group, welcomed Albanese's review, saying such an assessment had never been conducted in Australia.
"Unless you understand those risks, policy inevitably will be inadequate," he said.
"This is what we are now seeing in Australia because of the accelerating physical impacts of climate change, far faster than forecast, and the damage already caused to our communities by drought, bushfires, floods and storms."