India, as one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to environmental change, is at the undeniable centre of various discourses relating to the impact of environmental changes on human security and conflicts driven, or exacerbated, by the exploitation of natural resources. India also has the potential to promote stability and peace through sustainable development and environmental cooperation. Integral to adelphi’s project – “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation” (ECC) – these issues have been dealt with at length on numerous occasions and on a host of platforms. As the ECC exhibition travelled to Manipal University (a university that commands a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats to the east) the primary focus has been to examine the realities on the ground realities and to integrate these into the larger national and international frameworks of climate diplomacy and environmental governance.
On May 1st to 2nd 2016, the G7 Energy Ministers together with the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy met at Kitakyushu, Japan to discuss developments since their 2015 Hamburg meeting, especially against the background of volatile energy prices and the Paris Agreement.
The signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement is an important opportunity for Europe to make the successful lessons from Paris into pillars of its diplomatic strategy. In June 2016, European Heads of State and Government will discuss a new “Global Strategy” on security and foreign policy. Delivering the Paris Agreement must be placed directly at its core if Europe wants to stay safe and prosperous.
Last month, the World Bank’s Fragility Forum in Washington, DC, brought together some 600 participants to discuss how to advance sustainable development in the context of increasing conflicts and violence. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim opened the forum by emphasizing that we are at a critical moment. While the first two decades after the end of the Cold War saw a significant decline in the casualties from violent conflicts around the world, this trend has unfortunately reversed in recent years. Around 60 million people were forcibly displaced last year – the most since World War II – and these numbers are on the rise. Most displaced persons remain within their respective home countries, but more than 15 million are refugees.
At its 585th meeting on March 30 2016, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union held an open session on Climate Change: State fragility, peace and security in Africa. The debate reflected the collective acknowledgement that climate change, peace and security in Africa are inextricably linked, stressing the need for all AU Member States to further build national resilience capacities.
In his recent address at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile States conference on March 30 2016, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion spoke about the climate-security-nexus, stating that conflicts like the Syrian civil war may
During April 10 and11 2016, the G7 Foreign Ministers met at Hiroshima, Japan to discuss current international affairs in the run-up to the G7 Summit in May. In the final Joint Communiqué they once again took a strong stance on tackling climate-fragility risks collectively. They endorsed a quick entry into force of the Paris Agreement by all parties, while also emphasizing the role of the G7 in the prevention of climate fragility risks and the need to further consider these challenges as part of their foreign policies:
A new report entitled The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment has been formally unveiled at the White House on Monday the 4th April 2016.
In this speech at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile State Conference, Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, points out the connections between climate change and fragility, drawing on specific country examples. He stresses the need for integrated actions and the potential of Canada.
The EU and its Member States have been major contributors to achieving the landmark Paris Agreement. Dennis Tänzler and Stephan Wolters outline what needs to be done to keep up with this high level of engagement.
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.
Most of the progressive policies and significant challenges with regard to climate change are found in cities. A recent study by adelphi looked at ways of integrating urban actors in international climate governance to find more effective climate solutions. Kaj Fischer sums up the results.
At a time when migration has become one of the biggest challenges facing the European Union, the debate surrounding the role of environmental factors in fuelling conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, causing migration, is gaining momentum.
"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