Across the Indo-Pacific Region, the year ahead has all the hallmarks of continuing geopolitical uncertainly and the likelihood of increasing concern over a number of non-traditional challenges that include changes in demographic trends, the impact of climate change, the ability to meet food and water demands, rising inequality and the impact on employment of increased automation.
Each year, thousands of Australian native birds, reptile and mammals are illegally caught and trafficked to domestic and overseas markets. The trade is growing and combating agencies can struggle to attract the necessary resources when competing with other, better publicised, environmental issues.
Lithium production, with enhanced protection of the natural environment, will be critical to the future of transportation globally as it becomes dominated by electrically powered vehicles.
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, is the process of pumping a fluid mixture into the earth to fracture impermeable rock to access gas resources. The process can provide an abundant source of natural gas for domestic and export markets, but it faces strong community opposition over environmental and social concerns. Nevertheless, as energy prices rise there are compelling reasons for it to be considered as a contributor to Australia’s energy future.
Acid mine drainage is a relatively simple process, but it has the potential to lead to long term environmental degradation if left untreated.
Australia has significant geothermal resources; however, there are also significant challenges to exploiting these resources to produce energy. Recently other renewable energy sources have seen funding prioritised away from geothermal energy development. While to date, the industry has been able to demonstrate economical large-scale power generation it has demonstrated sufficient potential for geothermal technology to be included in a suite of options to ensure Australia’s future energy security.
The US President now appears to be taking a broader view of the situation in Afghanistan, one that could increase the pressure on Pakistan and bring India into the peacekeeping – and peace-making – equation.
Australia is a major player in the production and export of liquefied natural gas. So why is the country facing gas shortages and a looming domestic energy crisis?
Australia is responsible for the preservation of some globally significant World Heritage Sites which must be protected from potential damage arising from climate change.
China’s thinly-veiled warning to India to heed the lessons of its loss in their 1962 war and India’s retort that it is a different country from that of the time both fail to recognise their new reality: neither can afford a war with the other.