On December 8, 2019, the New Zealand Minister of Defence Hon. Ron Mark, with Minister for Climate Change Hon James Shaw, released a Climate Change Implementation Work Plan for its defence force, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan. The plan was co-produced by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force. To read the full report, click here, and to read the press release, click here. A contact in the New Zealand Ministry of Defence sent along the following summary of the report:
In what is one of the most robust treatments of climate change in any current defense plan, the New Zealand Ministry of Defence’s Defense Capability Plan 2019, released on June 11, includes an entire chapter devoted to addressing climate change. The Plan, according to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) website, “sets out the Government’s indicative planned investments in the New Zealand Defence Force” and “covers all capability investments out to 2030, and signals investments following 2030 that will be assessed through the next Defence White Paper in 2022.”
Chapter Five, titled “Responding to the Climate Crisis,” can be found on page 17, and refers back to last year’s “Climate Crisis: Defense Readiness and Responsibilities” assessment from the New Zealand Ministry of Defence, which indicated a major increase in attention to the security risks of climate change from the Kiwi military.
Among other items, the chapter highlights some key defense-related implications of climate change, including:
100.1 An increase in the number of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations;
100.2 An increased likelihood of stability operations; and
100.3 A larger number of search and rescue missions occurring across a broader geographical area.