The European Parliament yesterday, 3 July 2018, voted for a report on EU Climate Diplomacy and emphasized the EU’s responsibility to lead on climate action as well as conflict prevention.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini hosted on 22 June 2018 an unprecedented high level event - Climate, Peace and Security: The Time for Action - which drove home both the urgency and importance of tackling the risks that climate change poses to security and peace. Ministers from around the world, top United Nations officials, and leading experts testified to the many real and potential security threats deriving from climate change.
"Land degradation is a root cause of migration and a trigger of conflicts", said Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in a recent interview with the ECC platform. Whether for growing crops, grazing animals or constructing houses – land is a prerequisite for human life. But global pressures on land are increasing and threaten millions of livelihoods - and thus peace and stability.
After the recent G7 meeting, much is said about the growing divergence of national interests and about whether the group is able to maintain its leadership on global issues. Amidst feelings of uncertainty and disenchantment left behind by Charlevoix, one thing cannot be ignored: clear commitments on climate change, environment and sustainability issues were made.
The UK has been accused of trying to “fudge” how much money it spends on subsidising coal mining and fossil fuel use despite its pledge to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020.
Climate shocks as drivers of migration might be long present in the environmental narrative, but they are hardly being addressed on a policy level. According to MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, the lack of a legal definition of ‘climate refugees’ effectively excludes the issue from international agendas – and creates space for generalized scepticism.
From 8-9 June 2018, Canada will be hosting this year's G7 Summit. In advance of the meeting, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, published this statement in the publication 'G7 Canada: The Charlevoix Summit':
Reducing the impacts of disasters in developing countries is absolutely vital - especially in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The invention of climate risk insurance has been a major breakthrough in that regard. If they are well-designed and mitigate potential negative side effects, climate risk insurance could play a major role in supporting the poor. To support this, insurance initiatives should monitor both positive and negative impacts.
In May 2018, the Brazilian Institute for Climate and Society and the German Embassy in Brazil hosted an event on international climate and security in Rio de Janeiro. The meeting, joined by experts from the public sector, civil society and international think tanks, reflects Latin America’s increased interest in the international dimension of climate fragility risks.
The EU favours middle-income countries with its climate aid program, according to analysis by a coalition of development agencies. The Act Alliance is calling on the EU to direct more climate finance to the most vulnerable, after finding Turkey and Ukraine were the biggest beneficiaries.
This new report by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in collaboration with the Clingendael Institute and other Dutch research institutes points to pressure on security and migration arising from too little, too much or polluted water. Many integrated solutions are possible to divert this trend towards a sustainable and climate-resilient world.
The future of the global climate treaty could hang on the outcome of talks under way in Germany aimed at turning its promises into action.