No country is immune to natural hazards, but for fragile states, the effects are even more severe. Mostly, conflict prevention and humanitarian aid are seen as more pressing priorities to protect livelihoods there. This pushes efforts of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction to the bottom of the priority list and results in compounded pressures.
San Francisco’s Global Climate Action Summit ended on 14 September with non-state actors sending a call to action to governments ahead of the crucial COP24 in December, while highlighting their pivotal role in reducing emissions and reaching climate targets.
The EU and its Member States have been practical pioneers of climate diplomacy for many years, but what has been learned up until now? Which initiatives and approaches are worth being replicated?
Women are at the forefront of climate change, facing disproportionately high risks to their health, education, food security and livelihoods. The gendered impacts of climate change are particularly strong in the case of climate-induced disasters and are exacerbated in contexts of violent conflict, fragility and extreme poverty. At the same time, women can be important agents of change in adaptation and peacebuilding. Disaster management can provide opportunities to overcome traditional gender roles and strengthen women’s voices in decision-making.
When it comes to accessing and making best use of climate finance, states in situations of fragility are faced with particular challenges that are largely disregarded in the current aid architecture. If we want to support the most vulnerable nations in building resilience to climate-fragility risks, we need to make sure our resources actually reach those most in need, effectively link climate, peacebuilding and development finance, and apply modalities that fit states with low capacities.
The most important and anticipated climate change conference in years is finally underway. In some ways, as Bill McKibben and Andrew Revkin have pointed out, its success is relatively assured thanks to the number of major commitments countries have already made. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see here.
Acknowledging that climate change is a global threat to security in the 21st century, the Dutch government has convened an international conference on Planetary Security on 2-3 November 2015 in the Hague. The aim of the conference was to facilitate strategic exchange on existing foreign policy and security architecture.
The G7 Foreign Ministers can take a leading role in avoiding the increased weakening and even total collapse of states and societies threatened by fragility challenges. Resilience - understood as the existential ability of a nation or society to cope with major crises - has to become the compass for foreign policy.
This is one of the key recommendations of the recent report commissioned by interested G7 Foreign Ministries and authored by an international research consortium from Germany, France, Great Britain and the USA, led by think tank adelphi. These recommendations also fed into the final communiqué of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Lübeck on 14-15 April 2015.
Natural resources rarely feature during peacebuilding efforts, but there is growing evidence that this is a mistake. The UN Environment Program and Department of Political Affairs recently created a Guide to natural resources for conflict mediators. Michael Brown is one of the authors of the Guide and senior mediation expert in natural resources and land conflicts for the UN.
7 Sep 2010 - Water is a vital resource: it is essential for food production and good health, but also as a factor of production. Yet only a small amount of the water on earth is available to meet the often competing demands of its different users.
Bandaid solutions to natural disasters are simply not enough. It's time to be proactive, because the cost of inaction will be much higher.
14-18 March 2015,
The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will bring together several thousand participants to assess the progress on the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) that emerged from the previous world conference in 2005. To adopt a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and to agree on implementation arrangements are core goals of this global meeting. The UNISDR is gathering success cases to demonstrate the achievements of the HFA. Please see the conference website.
Climate change and conflict – what’s the relationship?