Governments around the world spent $1.75 trillion - $4.8 billion per day - on military expenses in 2012, an amount higher than Cold War peaks - with Australia among the five biggest military spenders in our region.*
"If governments spent 4.8 billion per day on addressing environmental, economic, food and human security, many of the root causes of armed conflict would be eliminated," said Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator Scott Ludlam, on the third Global Day of Action on Military Spending.
"While $4.8 billion each day is spent on preparation for war, 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from preventable diseases. Human security needs are inevitably neglected when such substantial resources are wasted on preparation for war.
"In the upcoming budget and Defence White paper, the Australian Government should focus defence dollars on our genuine security threats, particularly the risks of climate change in our region, rather than throwing more money at the technically and financially infeasible Joint Strike Fighter.
"It is in Australia's security interests to both prevent and prepare for catastrophic climate change given the 150-200 million climate refugees predicted, as well as potential resource wars, health security, and an unstable Asia-Pacific region.
"Australia is out of step with contemporary security experts and governments that are addressing the climate security nexus. We should look to genuine 21st century security needs and divert some of this senseless overkill to more productive ends," Senator Ludlam concluded.
*2012 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report.
SIPRI Factsheet 'Trends in world military expenditure, 2012', 15 April 2013, available at www.sipri.org and http://www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases/2013/milex_launch
Senator Ludlam's submission on climate security to the Defence White Paper Consultation: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/committee/submission-2013-d...