Climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and well-being of Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The threat is increasing at a time when the region is already facing complex geopolitical dynamics and multifaceted security risks.
As the debate over climate-related security risks grows, many Pacific Island States are calling for more action by the international community to better address the links between climate change and global security. In an interview with adelphi, the former President of Nauru, Baron Waqa, highlights some of these calls as well as the challenges in getting the climate-security issue on the UN’s agenda.
Australia’s new prime minister will not walk away from the Paris climate agreement, although his new policies now make it unlikely the country will meet its emissions reduction goal. Ongoing trade talks with the EU could also hinge on how climate policy continues to develop.
The surge in the frequency and intensity of climate change impacts has raised the alarm about how this could hamper coastal activities. Several critical ports in the Indo-Pacific region are hubs of international trade and commerce and at the same time vulnerable to typhoons, taller waves and erosion. India’s climate diplomacy at the regional level could activate climate-resilient pathways for port development and management.
Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2018 is designed to advance regional climate action. The ultimate aim of APCW 2018 is to support implementation of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change and action to deliver on the SDGs.
On November 17, adelphi hosted a high-level panel discussion on “How to prevent climate security risks?” at the German Pavilion at COP23. The panel discussion was an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved and to deepen the discussion on how to prevent climate-related risks and incorporate them into policy planning.
The island state of Fiji is hosting the presidency of the next United Nations climate conference. Inia Seruiratu, Minister of Agriculture, explains why the exit of the United States from the Paris Agreement also has positive aspects, why he is focusing on climate change adaptation, and why Fiji will not be joining the climate risk insurance.
The Environment, Conflict and Cooperation (ECC) exhibition visualizes the dramatic and growing impact of global environmental change. It demonstrates how climate change can threaten the security of the Pacific region, and showcases how climate, environment and sustainable development cooperation can contribute to stability and peace. It is hosted by UNSW in Canberra and Sydney.
Internationally, Australia resides in the region worst affected by climate change, a so called ‘disaster alley’. Robert Sturrock from the Centre of Policy Development argues that policy action to address climate vulnerabilities in Australia and the Indo-Pacific is not sufficient, and that Australia should offer leadership to encourage regional cooperation and prepare for climate crises.
The Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama, as incoming President of the UN Climate Change Conference in autumn in Bonn (COP23, 6-17 November), addressed delegates on the final day of the May UN Climate Change Conference in the former German capital. In his address, he set out his vision for Fiji's Presidency of COP23. During his speech, the new Presidency COP23 website was launched, and a powerful video showing the impacts of climate change on Fiji was screened (see below). These are his remarks as prepared for delivery.
On 19 January 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan hosted a roundtable seminar with international experts and country representatives to follow up on G7 efforts to address climate-fragility risks.
The exhibition “Environment, Conflict, Cooperation” (ECC), co-organised by The University of Queensland and adelphi, supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, is shown in Brisbane during 18th July and 4th August. The exhibition is accompanied by a public talk as well as a closing panel discussion:
As China continues to expand into a superpower large enough to one day rival the United States, the support and cooperation of Southeast Asian countries is imperative. Since 2000 China’s trade with the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries rose from $32 billion to $350 billion in 2014, with estimates for 2015 reaching as high as $500 billion.