Australia

Defence chief sounds warning on surge of climate change refugees

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The ADF warns there may be a rise in climate change refugees from the Pacific region, which could spark the need for more patrols off the north coast.

A rise in climate change refugees may force Australia to increase its military patrols of the nation's northern waters.

Defence chief Angus Campbell has also reportedly warned that China could take advantage of rising sea levels to occupy abandoned islands in the Pacific.

Defence chief Angus Campbell.
Defence chief Angus Campbell.
AAP

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Australia is focused on tackling climate change in the region, pointing to the signing of the Boe Declaration at the recent Pacific Islands Forum.

The declaration recognises climate change as the greatest risk to life and security in the Pacific.

Ground staff prepare Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft. Defence bosses have warned of the rise of climate refugees.
Ground staff prepare Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft. Defence bosses have warned of the rise of climate refugees.

"We are very focused on our engagement on climate in the region," she told ABC's Radio National on Monday.

The government is also helping pay for projects in the Pacific through a multibillion-dollar fund.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says the government is committed to tackling climate change.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne says the government is committed to tackling climate change.
AAP

"Which will stream climate adaptation and resilience through its investment in energy, in transport, in communications and in water, reflects the priority we place on these issues," Senator Payne said.

The minister recently met Fiji's attorney-general and finance minister to look at financing infrastructure projects for the island nation.

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