Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a “U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership”. The statement emphasizes the importance of addressing compound climate-fragility risks and both leaders agree to continue addressing these challenges, in particular through the G-7 working group on climate and fragility.
"Over the years, the United Nations, Governments and the people of the world have come to recognize climate change as a deadly peril to our ecosystems and, by that, to our security and, indeed, our survival. We may in many cases in life have a Plan B – but we simply have no Planet B.” - Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, speaking at the 52nd Munich Security Conference
‘No challenge poses a greater threat to our future and future generations than a change in climate’. Thus spoke President Obama, and most Western leaders have done likewise. Yet as the security policy community descends on Munich for its annual conference, climate change is likely to be a sideshow, again, despite the global attention that climate change received in the context of December’s conference in Paris.
The changing climate brings about more intense floods in cities in India and all around the world. It seems, however, that urban planning is still neglecting the growing risks. What are the biggest mistakes and how can we avoid them? An analysis by Dhanasree Jayaram.
The climate conference that took place in Paris last month has repeatedly been billed as a crucial global summit, and even as a decisive moment in human history – and its results have been judged as historic, too. To emphasize that the conference must not fail, Paris has seen the greatest ever gathering of leaders of state and government. And indeed, because anthropogenic climate change involves a huge range of risks – for human health and well-being, water and food security, and international security – it is fitting that the leaders who carry overall responsibility for their nations’ wellbeing engage on this issue.
In his speech on climate change and national security on November 10, Secretary of State John Kerry said climate change is already a “threat multiplier,” and that worse is to be expected if climate change continues unchecked. But the relationship between the environment and violent conflict is complex and often indirect.
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.
Paris 2015: as climate advocate, this meant and means for me the upcoming World Climate Conference in December. And this hasn’t changed, even as a result of the horrific terror attacks last Friday in Paris. On the contrary, the outcomes of the approaching conference can make a major contribution to stomping out the breeding grounds for these kinds of attacks.
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.
In a commanding speech at Old Dominion University this week, Secretary Kerry announced a dramatic step toward integrating climate and security into U.S. foreign policy.