Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with US President Joe Biden at the Quad meeting on Tuesday (Image: AP/Evan Vucci)
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with US President Joe Biden at Tokyo's Quad meeting (Image: AP/Evan Vucci)

The most salient words from the prime minister at the Quad meeting in Tokyo came in his opening remarks: "We will act in recognition that climate change is the main economic and security challenge for the island countries of the Pacific."

The climate emergency has always been a national security issue. As early as 2004, the Pentagon was telling the Bush administration is was a potential security risk, and it was formally classified as a threat to US national security in 2009.

It's taken a lot longer for the penny to drop in Australia -- particularly when Tony Abbott literally banned any mention of climate change in his government.