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.
The German Federal Foreign Office and adelphi co-organized the side event “Global Resilience Agenda: A Foreign Policy Perspective on the SDGs” on 17 July 2018 at the High Level Political Forum 2018, which took place in the German Permanent Mission in New York. The event sought to deepen the understanding of the SDGs and geopolitics and the particularities of each region. A range of high-ranking officials from the UN and national governments joined the event, as well as experts from academia and civil society.
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.
With the building of one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams on the Blue Nile River, Ethiopia sets a new phase of development for the country and neighbours; but not every affected country is happy. The project is a classic example of the ‘water-energy-food nexus’ dilemma, demonstrating that countries are in constant competition over the use of natural resources for different sectors and conflicting national development agendas.
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’s decision to phase out palm oil biodiesel is likely to backfire, with negative repercussions not just on the countries concerned but also on international relations and the climate. The EU should hence invest more heavily in climate diplomacy in order to find a real solution to problems such as deforestation and wildlife loss.
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.
Working with over 30 partners, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently launched the Resource Watch. The platform provides a wide array of data sets on various sustainability topics, ranging from food security to urban climate challenges.
This Climate-Fragility profile is envisaged as a first component of a Climate-Fragility Risk Assessment process. It summarizes the key challenges the Lake Chad region is experiencing as a consequence of the interplay between climate change and fragility.