How to deal with the impact of climate change on peace and stability? What are the key climate-fragility risks to development in Africa and how can integrated policy responses be designed and implemented? Two side events at COP22 discussed entry points for addressing climate-security risks on the ground.
Recently released by the World Bank, Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters finds that extreme natural disasters cost the global economy $520 billion in lost consumption each year – 60 percent higher than any previous estimate. Traditional disaster risk assessments have focused solely on aggregate losses, or how “disasters affect people wealthy enough to have wealth to lose.” But, as the report points out, a dollar in losses does not mean the same thing to the wealthy as it does to the poor. Instead, the report uses a new measurement that moves beyond asset losses to estimate a community’s socioeconomic resilience – or the ability to resist, absorb, accommodate, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely manner.
The world of 2035 will be facing global and regional insecurities that could be “more dangerous than the second half of the Cold War era,” according to a 2016 report from the Atlantic Council. Global Risks 2035: The Search for a New Normal, authored by Mathew J. Burrows.
Climate Change is a stimulus for social, political and economic conflicts around the world. The award-winning film "The Age of Consequences", tours around the world and will be screened this December and in 2017 in the Netherlands, Sweden and several US states. It is an illuminating call to action, highlighting the manifold security threats posed by climate change from a US military perspective.
“Water is the frontline of climate change. It’s what every report that you see identifies as the sort of first and foremost effect we see from a climate changing world,” said Sherri Goodman, a public policy fellow at the Wilson Center and formerly of CNA and the U.S. Department of Defense, on October 19. As the climate changes, availability and access to water is changing and growing increasingly uncertain in some regions.
Now that the at times turbulent US election has past, attention must return to cooperating on the global challenges that affect us all, like climate change which 23 high profile military leaders and experts from around the world have today labelled as a threat to peace and stability. In a joint Global Climate and Security Consensus Statement issued by the Climate Security Working Group, the signatories have called for world leaders to address climate risk in their national, regional and international security planning.
With much of the Middle East in turmoil, authorities devote their resources to fighting ISIS, the refugee crisis and the most pressing economic and social concerns. Peter Schwartzstein, a Cairo-based journalist, reports on the struggle of environmental agencies to be heard in times of conflict. The secondary status of the environment is regrettable, as landscape degradation and pollutant floods in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan and other countries is contributing to a broader picture of instability.
Top UN officials call for action to protect environment in times of war. "Environmental protection needs to take a more prominent role in our response to conflict", says UN Environment head Erik Solheim.
Manipal University is organising a thematic seminar series on “Environmental Security in India” in November 2016, under the auspices of the Climate Diplomacy initiative supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. As a part of the ongoing efforts to build the University’s research and development base in environmental studies and climate change, it seeks to establish synergies between fundamental research in natural (physical) sciences, engineering, security and policy, especially in the environmental and climate policy domains.
There may not have been a single question about climate change in the 2016 presidential debates, but it remains a hotly contested, partisan issue for many in the United States. That climate change is happening and requires a response is not up for debate within the upper echelons of the U.S. military, however.
On October 13, the United Nations General Assembly appointed Antonio Guterres as the next UN secretary-general.
Will India back out of a treaty that it had been partied to with Pakistan for nearly 60 years? Is there a risk going forward if Modi’s government were to build dams - would there be an uptake in terrorist activity as a result of reducing water? Michael Kugelman explains the flare up in India-Pakistan water tensions.
"The people who are getting the benefits from ivory right now are criminals and terrorists" says the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Hence, the potential of conservation efforts to aid in improving stability and democracy after decades of conflict could be a huge breakthrough for the legitimacy of environmental peacebuilding in Uganda, Colombia, and on a global scale.