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New Zealand defense report says climate change greatest security risk

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New Zealand defense report says climate change greatest security risk

By Charlotte Greenfield

 

2018-12-06T045433Z_1_LYNXMPEEB509Y_RTROPTP_4_CLIMATE-CHANGE-ACCORD.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Protesters march to urge politicians to act against climate change in Paris, France, October 13, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

 

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand released a defense policy statement on Thursday calling climate change its greatest security threat and stressed the importance of the issue to the geostrategically contested Pacific region, which is seeing increased influence from China.

 

The assessment came on the heels of a defense policy earlier this year that warned China's rising influence in the South Pacific could undermine regional stability, drawing a complaint from the Asian giant.

 

"It identifies climate change as one of the most significant security threats of our time, and one that is already having adverse impacts both at home and in New Zealand's neighborhood," said Defense Minister Ron Mark in an emailed statement.

 

The report said that states could look to use assistance on climate change as a way to boost their influence and access in the region.

 

"Working with Pacific Island countries on climate change, including in the security sphere, is an opportunity to learn lessons from each other while further strengthening strategic partnerships," it said.

 

That underscored comments from Samoa's Prime Minsiter Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi who told Reuters in November that Australia and the United States should follow the lead of China and do more to prevent climate change, which would devastate many island nations.

 

"Traditional powers in the region have this anxiety about China's intentions and so they are looking to assure Pacific islands that they are listening to their concerns," said Wesley Morgan, an expert in Pacific politics at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

 

The emergence of China as a key aid donor and major lender for Pacific countries has led to friction between the Asian giant and western nations, which boiled over at a recent APEC summit in Papua New Guinea.

 

China's foreign ministry has said it is helping Pacific nations with much needed assistance according to their wishes and is promoting their social and economic development.

 

New Zealand's defense minister said he was using the assessment on climate change to inform defense spending and investment plans set to be released next year.

 

New Zealand's government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has put combating climate change at the heart of its policies and on Wednesday announced a NZ$100 million ($68.62 million) investment fund to spur growth in projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Michael Perry)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-12-06

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4 minutes ago, Enoon said:

But apparently not the majority of those concerned with the scientific study of the phenomenon.

I hear what you are saying and it makes sense. Unfortunately it is hard not to be a sceptic when so many of the expert predictions prove to be in error. 

Make the facts fit the narrative and I will be happy to support the measures.

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10 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

What do you think global warming is?

 

It is a warming of the climate, therefore climate change...

 

If we don't change our behaviour the human race is in for rough times...

I think the reason for the name change was that even though the earth's atmosphere and seas will on balance get warmer, because of shifts in atmospheric and oceanic currents, some areas may actually get cooler. For instance if the Gulf stream gets seriously cooler or changes it's course thanks to Greenland's melting glaciers. northern Europe could get a whole lot colder.

But the argument that "climate is changing all the time" is just a silly semantic game. I hope that the people who play at it are willfully obfuscating and aren't actually conned by such a childish ploy.

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Climate change is better term than global warming. I recall some study that suggested if polar ice caps melt, it could dilute the gulf stream enough that it stops circulating warmer waters up past Europe, which would lead to much harsher winters. Might even end European football as we know it. That possibility would be a disaster of biblical proportions to worldwide fans.

 On a slightly more serious note, yes climate has always been changing, even back to when world was almost totally covered in ice. History is not applicable however. This is the first time humans have been around to be one of the causal agents.

 If it is all due to natural cycles and such, then perhaps we should find out what we could do as humans to lessen the impact.

Or we can just let the cookie crumble with all the deaths, political upheavals, wars etc that would be a by product of the change

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12 minutes ago, bristolboy said:

I think the reason for the name change was that even though the earth's atmosphere and seas will on balance get warmer, because of shifts in atmospheric and oceanic currents, some areas may actually get cooler. For instance if the Gulf stream gets seriously cooler or changes it's course thanks to Greenland's melting glaciers. northern Europe could get a whole lot colder.

But the argument that "climate is changing all the time" is just a silly semantic game. I hope that the people who play at it are willfully obfuscating and aren't actually conned by such a childish ploy.

The rise in temperatures [Global Warming} is fueling climate change. They are not different events but interlinked [as you say].

 

To try to separate the two and make out the environmentalist argument has changed, is just a disingenuous attempt to avoid admitting to the fact that the planet is undergoing changes caused by humanities behaviour.

 

Changes which if left unchecked, will prove catastrophic for us as a species.

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