a War on the environment
Australia’s future depends on a healthy planet but military spending amounts to a war on the environment. All military activity is highly polluting and a major contributor to climate change.
The money that Australia spends on environmental protection is $3.4 billion. The money spent on the military is $48 billion this financial year and an estimated quarter of a trillion dollars over the next ten years.
At a time where it is becoming increasingly obvious that climate change is an existential threat to life on this planet and the country has been ravaged by bushfires and extensive flooding, the Australian government has announced a $230 million per year ($2.3bn over 10 years) on new environmental spending. That's a pathetic 0.5% of the annual defence budget!
Climate change is the greatest threat to our region’s peace, security and prosperity. Environmental degradation and unsustainable use of natural resources lead to more extreme weather events and a vulnerable global food system. Australia’s future stability depends on a healthy planet, so we must meet emissions targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and ban new coal and gas production. Militarism has profound negative effects on the environment.
Military spending amounts to a war on the environment. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) includes a stark warning about the climate crisis but national governments continue to invest more in the military than in keeping the planet habitable. More Australian aid can help our regional neighbours adapt to the impacts of climate change which is already having a devastating impact across the Pacific. Sea levels rise, crop yields decrease, fishing stocks are depleted, flooding and erosion threaten households and livelihoods. These conditions will lead to a significant escalation in climate-induced migration.
The military consume huge quantities of oil in research, testing and production in preparation for war and war itself has rendered large areas uninhabitable as well as created tens of millions of refugees. This has the effect of making huge demands on forest, water and other resources, leading to land degradation and pollution. Indeed, all military activity is highly polluting, highly damaging to the environment and a major contributor to climate change. The Federal budget tells a clear story of Australia’ misplaced priorities.
The money that Australia spends on environmental protection is $3.4 billion. The money spent on the military is $48 billion this financial year and an estimated quarter of a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. We must have a peace budget that includes developing stronger disaster preparedness and response capabilities. This must include not only dealing with fire and flood in Australia but also aid for Pacific communities which are being hit with repeated disasters, including devastating cyclones, tidal surges and sea-water inundation.