Coinciding with the first days the German Presidency of the European Council, on 3 July 2020 adelphi and the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel launched a new report “The Geopolitics of Decarbonisation: Reshaping European Foreign Relations”. This summary highlights the event's key outcomes.
Under the Paris Agreement, governments have committed to radically cutting carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. This decarbonisation process has profound implications for both domestic and foreign policy, and is likely to have important geopolitical consequences. As a global power and leader on climate action, the EU has an important role to play in meeting these challenges.
Climate change is a defining threat to peace and security in the 21st century – its impacts are felt by everyone, but not equally. Gender norms and power dynamics shape how women and men of different backgrounds experience or contribute to insecurity in a changing climate.
Decarbonisation won’t come as fast as the pandemic. But if fossil fuel exporters are not prepared for it, they will face an enduring crisis. The EU can help.
What is needed to fully tackle the complex challenges around the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts? Civil society, affected states and experts have struggled with this essential question for decades.
Greenhouse gas emissions are down and air quality has gone up, as governments react to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, has cautioned against viewing this as a boon for the environment. In this First Person editorial from UN News, Ms. Andersen calls instead for a profound, systemic shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet.
With cities continuously more threatened by climate change-induced disasters, urban planning’s reflex response is to protect cities against nature. But what if the solution lies in working with nature instead against it? Architect Kongjiang Yu invites readers to imagine what cities could look like if they took into account ancient wisdom on spatial planning.
With the advance of climate change and environmental changes threatening livelihoods, their impacts on migration and displacement are receiving increasing attention in research, politics, and civil society. The issue is complex and multi-dimensional, with environmental changes affecting human mobility in diverse ways. The three reports in this series thus evaluate the evidence base for policymaking, and provide entry points for responses in the field of climate change adaptation.
Nature and its vital contributions to people are deteriorating worldwide, and the goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability goals cannot be met by current trajectories, unless transformative changes are made.
Resources, including minerals and metals, underpin the world’s economies for almost all sectors, providing crucial raw materials for their industrial processes. Despite efforts to decouple economies from resource use towards a circular economy, demand for extractive resources will continue to grow on the back of emerging economies. This report maps existing international governance frameworks and initiatives which have overlapping subsets that focus on delivering the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action. Indeed, climate change impacts are already increasing the pressure on states and societies; however, it is not yet clear how the EU can engage on climate security and environmental peacemaking. In this light, and in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency, adelphi and its partners are organising a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead”.
Climate change is not only one of the greatest global challenges, but also gives the German Federal Foreign Office the opportunity in the area of foreign policy to support other countries and international organisations in dealing with the impact of climate change and in the transformation towards a climate-neutral economy.
Climate change will shift key coordinates of foreign policy in the coming years and decades. Even now, climate policy is more than just environment policy; it has long since arrived at the centre of foreign policy. The German Foreign Office recently released a report on climate diplomacy recognizing the biggest challenges to security posed by climate change and highlighting fields of action for strengthening international climate diplomacy.
Evidence from existing programs shows that climate change adaptation interventions can contribute to peacebuilding, and peacebuilding can have significant adaptation benefits.
Based on the findings from the report "Geopolitics of Decarbonisation" this policy brief focuses on six fossil-fuel exporting countries – Azerbaijan, Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Qatar – where fossil fuels have played an important role in external relations with the EU and analyses how they may be affected by the decarbonisation of Europe.