Australia warns of eco-conflicts

Rising seas and climate change pose one of the biggest threats to security in the Pacific and may also incite a global conflict over energy reserves under melting Arctic ice, Reuters reported, citing a security review by Australia's military. The study said that the unrest brought about by these developments would likely increase the need for an Australian military presence at strategic points.

The confidential Australian Defence Force document — a summary which was obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald — found that the greatest possibility for global conflict lay in the Arctic. There, melting icecaps are prompting an international race for undersea oil and gas deposits. Environmental stress is also predicted to increase the risk of conflicts in the Pacific over resources and food, the study said.


The report concluded that these disputes would likely "increase demands for the Australian Defence Force to be deployed on additional stabilisation, post-conflict reconstruction and disaster relief operations in the future".


Rising sea levels, the analysis said, would affect vulnerable Pacific islands and could lead to an increase in refugees, illegal immigration and disputes over scare food resources, including fish.

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