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This report warns that within a decade, as the climate continues to warm, the relatively benign strategic environment in Southeast Asia - a region of crucial importance to Australia - will begin unravelling.

The author notes that hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying coastal areas will not only experience more severe extremes, but also more frequent swings from extreme heat and drought to severe floods. The diminishing time for recovery in between these events will have major consequences for food security, population displacements and resilience.

The report presents several policy recommendations for Australia, including the need to greatly expand the government’s capacity to understand and identify the most likely paths through which disruptive climate events (individually, concurrently, or consecutively) can cause cascading, security-relevant impacts, such as disruptions of critical supply chains, galvanised separatist movements, climate refugees, opportunistic intervention by outside powers, political instability, and conflict.

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Strategic Insights 157