Africa in general, and the Sahel in particular, is often identified as the region where climate change is most likely to undermine security and trigger violent conflict. This is a function of the region’s history of violent conflict and its perceived vulnerability to climate change.
South Asia is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions. Many countries in the region lack the resources and capacities needed to cope with the worsening impacts of climate change. At the same time, climate change is increasingly interacting with socio-economic, demographic and political factors to exacerbate fragility risks.
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.
Ethiopia is a key security player in the Horn of Africa: while the country can act as an important catalyst for peace, it can also be a significant source of instability if conflict risks and climate resiliency are not managed proactively.
For the past four decades, Afghanistan has suffered from the devastating impacts of constant armed conflict. Conflicts have increased Afghanistan’s already high vulnerability to climate change, the impacts of which may, in turn, help to create the conditions for continued violence.
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.
The Brown to Green Report 2019 is the world’s most comprehensive review of G20 climate action. It provides concise and comparable information on G20 country mitigation action, finance and adaptation.
The 2015 Paris Agreement has focused global attention on the need for countries to address climate change risks. But not all countries are equal, in terms of either their ambition or ability to achieve economies which are low-carbon and aligned with greenhouse gas emission trajectories which scientists say are necessary to limit warming to 2ºC. The associated transition in national energy systems and broader economies to a low-carbon world will present risks, but also opportunities.
From conflict prevention to human rights protection – companies are vital for the success of the 2030 Agenda and foreign policy alike. But progress on SDG implementation in the business world is at a turning point. Foreign policy can and must play a decisive role by building a robust knowledge base, making use of economic diplomacy tools and bringing trade and foreign direct investment in line with the SDGs.
80 per cent of the world’s poorest could be living in fragile contexts by 2030, making fragility one of the capital challenges to achieving sustainable development. Fragility is multidimensional and complex, and progress in fragile contexts is not easy. But instead of shying away from this task, the ambition of the international community must be stepped up. Foreign policy can help increase the efficacy of investments to tackle fragility.
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015 marked a high point for international multilateral cooperation. With its 17 goals and 169 targets, the implementation process for the SDGs may appear an essentially technocratic exercise. Yet in view of the social transformation that it seeks to bring about across key dimensions of human civilisation, SDG implementation remains a profoundly political process. Because of the intense political implications, in-depth analysis, political foresight and strategic guidance are needed. As the consequences of SDG implementation cross and transcend borders and impact international relations, foreign policy has a critical role to play.
The SDGs set out a powerful vision for a better world, but action since 2015 is not delivering that promise. Foreign policy practitioners are in a unique position to help advocate for and assist in the implementation of the SDGs. Given that the SDGs and foreign policy want to achieve the same things – stability, peace and prosperity on a healthy planet – delivering them should be seen as a litmus test for the effectiveness of foreign policy in the twenty-first century.
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.
The foreign policy community faces a choice. It can continue to allow unacceptable levels of violence and conflict to undermine individual countries and the global order. Or it can build a new consensus that violence is a preventable epidemic. This would take seriously a growing body of evidence showing what is most likely to work to steer the world back toward global peace, resilient societies, and more sustainable prosperity.