Michael Thomas

Dr. Michael Thomas is Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific at the Center for Climate and Security, where he leads the “Climate Change for Security Professionals and Military Practitioners” Course. He is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and served for twenty years as an officer in the Australian Army including stints in signals-intelligence, capability management and military instruction.

His doctorate examined how military forces have responded to the threat posed by climate change and he has been active in educating global military leaders for six years through his work with the Australian Defence Force Global Change and Energy Sustainability Initiative, as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Defence College and as a visiting lecturer at the University of New South Wales and Deakin University.

He has completed climate resilience and capacity building studies at the United Nations University Tokyo and, together with his PhD from the University of New South Wales, holds three separate post-graduate degrees in Oceanography, a Masters in International Relations and a Masters of Management (Defense capability and acquisition).

He was a co-author on the influential 2015 Australian Climate Council publication Be Prepared that addressed climate security risks in the Australian Defense sector. He is the author of The Securitization of Climate Change: Australian and United States’ Military Responses, a book that offers a rare and systematic examination of US and Australian military climate policy and develops a unique method that quantifies climate security, enabling a graphical representation for quick and ready reference ideally suited to policy makers.



“I think it’s the defining threat of this century. I can’t think of any other threat that is transforming the planet on this level or scale. It’s such a ubiquitous threat.”



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The National Climate Emergency Summit will convene practitioners, advocates, governments, youth leaders and industry innovators to unpack what a climate emergency response could look like at local, national, and global levels.



Four strategic priorities will steer the Summit Program, presenting a focused conference program of plenary and breakout sessions.

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The Summit Program aims to attract a wide range of participants to help define and align key strategy and action that supports an emergency-scale transition.