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.
Meaningful engagement with the social and conflict implications of climate change in Solomon Islands must be firmly grounded within local worldviews—within Solomon Islanders’ physical, economic, political, and social and spiritual worlds. As we note in a recent policy brief for the Toda Peace Institute, when addressing conflict challenges exacerbated or caused by climate change, approaches should be drawn upon community understandings of what constitutes peace and justice.
At the conclusion of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum, Pacific leaders issued a Forum Communiqué and the ‘Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now’ – the strongest collective statement the Forum has issued on climate change. Pacific leaders highlight the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, the SAMOA Pathway Review, and 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC as “global turning points to ensure meaningful, measurable and effective climate change action”.
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.
Small Island States will be facing dramatically higher adaptation costs to build resilience against the kind of impacts the IPCC projects in its most recent Special Report. Thoriq Imbrahim, former Environment and Energy Minister of the Maldives, urges the international community to attend to the political demands of countries particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change and also confront loss and damage with renewed urgency.
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.
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.
In this report, various challenges faced by Asia-Pacific's most vulnerable areas to disasters attributed to climate change are specified, and a qualitative analysis is made on the instability of public security, politics and social climate observed in the region. The purpose of these two exercises is to gain insight into the situation through the overlapping of natural science and social science perspectives.
This report argues Australia is underprepared and underpreparing for climate change. According to the authors, Australia must position herself to protect the country and the region more effectively. It can be a regional leader in preserving human security by acting in concert with its partners to prepare for the climate security challenges ahead. Climate risks are an opportunity for deepened, constructive and non-threatening engagement in Asia.
To facilitate a broader discussion on climate-fragility risks in Japan and reflect and discuss the findings of the G7 report and its implications and relevance for Japan, adelphi and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies jointly organised two expert workshops in June 2016. The first workshop took place on 14 June 2016 and brought together 31 Japanese and international experts as well as government representatives. It was followed by a workshop on 16 June 2016 with 15 participants from Japanese civil society. The workshops focused on two central topics:
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.