It’s a simple fact that as we continue to pump record levels of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere we are ramping up disaster risk around the globe now and for generations to come.
Severe pollution incidents have provided some of the most visually arresting images of recent armed conflicts. Oil fires and spills, bomb – damaged and looted industrial facilities, abandoned military material and munitions, rubble and demolition waste – all are associated with contemporary conflicts, and all can threaten ecosystems and human health. But these obvious, and often serious, sources of pollution rarely tell the whole story.
For the past decade, western public discourse and the policy world have become increasingly concerned about ‘irregular’ migration and, to a slightly lesser extent perhaps, what driving role conflict and climate change play in triggering it. Addressing the causes and effects requires having a better understanding of the impacts that climate change has on multi-dimensional crises and the knock-on effect this has on migration. A key factor in understanding how these processes affect different women, girls, men, boys and other gender identities is gender.
Forecasts of future climate conditions are fairly good, but forecasts of future socioeconomic conditions are another story. To get a sense of how climate change will impact society, many resort to simply layering future climate conditions on top of current socioeconomic conditions. That’s a mistake, write Wolfgang Lutz and Raya Muttarak in Nature Climate Change.
Climate scientists from several international agencies were ending a three-day conference in Nairobi, releasing a detailed study of the Kenyan drought whose main message is: prepare for more. Humanitarians need to understand climate risks and use climate information to mitigate such disasters.
G7 leaders endorsed the African Risk Capacity (ARC) as a model for climate insurance. The organisation works with countries to improve their preparedness for extreme weather events and disasters.
Extreme weather events and climate variability threaten millions of livelihoods. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is developing a new tool that helps attenuate the impact of disasters before they occur. Andreas Wüstenberg, FAO Programme Officer for Early Warning Early Action, explains how it works and what results the team obtained from first projects.
An official report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) finds that climate change poses increasingly severe risks for ecosystems, human health, the economy and security in Europe. Hans-Martin Füssel, EEA Project Manager, summarizes the takeaways and explains how to apply the findings.
Cities are on the sharp end of a range of risks from criminal violence, terrorism and war to demographic pressures, to climate and environmental change. Coastal megacities are especially at risk given the specific impacts of climate change they face, including accelerated global sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and severity, and destruction to critical infrastructure such as port facilities, rail and road linkages, and energy installations, all of which are amplified as urban populations become ever larger.
The G20 is at a crossroads. Since its inception, the exclusive group has had the chief objective of avoiding a new financial crisis. But a looming crisis of a different nature could now threaten international stability just as much: climate change, a risk factor deeply intertwined with other hazards such as slow growth and rising inequality.
In December, the leading lights of the climate and security community launched an unprecedented declaration to catalyse action in the field in front of 350 participants at the Planetary Security Conference.
The world's foremost gathering on reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations, the Global Platform for Disaster Reduction was first held in 2007. It takes place every two years, with the 2015 edition rolled into the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Its fifth session will be held in May 2017 in Mexico.
Over 80 percent of countries consider environmental crime a national priority, with most recognizing that new and more sophisticated criminal activities are increasingly threatening peace and security. INTERPOL and UN Environment surveyed close to 70 countries for their latest joint report on the issue.
Last month, our author Dr Vigya Sharma visited Colombo to speak at the 5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum. In her report, she highlights some takeaways from the conference to which more than 1,000 representatives from across science, policy, national to local governments, multilateral donor agencies and various arms of the United Nations came together.