For years, land and environmental defenders have been the first line of defence against climate breakdown. Yet despite clearer evidence than ever of the crucial role they play, far too many businesses, financiers and governments fail to safeguard their vital and peaceful work.
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.
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.
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.
Evidence from existing programs shows that climate change adaptation interventions can contribute to peacebuilding, and peacebuilding can have significant adaptation benefits.
Land remains the most fundamental asset for the majority of vulnerable populations living in developing countries, as their livelihoods are directly linked to agriculture. When desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) disrupt these livelihoods, migration is often the only option that remains. In new report, the SEI, the IOM and the UNCCD explore the links between land degradation and migration, looking into good practices and lessons learned and recommending policy approaches that address DLDD-specific migration.
There is increasing evidence that climate change is undermining livelihoods, food and water security in rural and urban areas around the world, thereby acting as a “threat multiplier” in fragile and conflict-prone situations. In light of this, the Berlin Climate and Security Conference, which took place at the German Federal Foreign Office on 4 June 2019, aimed at increasing the momentum for decisive action to address climate-related drivers of conflict.
For researchers looking into global security dynamics, it is becoming increasingly difficult to overlook climate change as a threat multiplier in conflict situations. While climate change may not directly cause conflict, it may be inextricably woven into pre-existing conflicts of power, ethnicity, and economic interest. Understading the role of climate-related impacts on security is therefore crucial for global peace.
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.
The past two decades have witnessed the emergence of a large body of research examining the linkage between environmental scarcity, violent conflict, and cooperation. However, this environmental security polemic is still trying to deliver a well-defined approach to achieving peace.
The report “New dots on the security horizon” analyses the top threats to EU security identified by the Clingendael Expert Pool that brings together over 200 experts on five selected fields (climate change, CBRN, free trade, migration and terrorism). It summarizes the results of an online survey that was conducted in order to identify and compile a shortlist of upcoming and new threats.
It is undoubtedly a challenge for climate policy actors to identify reliable evidence to support sound decision-making processes for tackling climate issues effectively. Still, differentiating between fact and fiction, well-designed and invalid science, evidence- or interest-based arguments is precisely what determines the quality of climate policies.
This policy brief considers the interlinkages between climate change, migration and security. It argues that despite the lack of scientific consensus the potential consequences are too large to ignore and no-regret policy options should be adopted.