On 25 January 2019, the UN Security Council held an open debate to discuss the security implications of climate-related disaster events. The meeting, initiated by the Dominican Republic, underscored the global nature of climate-related disasters. Most speakers highlighted the need for better climate risk management as an important contribution to safeguarding international peace and security. The debate marks the beginning of a year in which climate security ranks high on the UN’s agenda.
The challenge of peacebuilding missions is not only to stop violence and prevent a rekindling of conflict, but also to help societies and governments reset their internal relations on a peaceful path towards sustaining peace. In the short run, it might be tempting to dismiss environmental issues when considering the insurmountable task of building peace after armed conflict. Yet, it is increasingly clear that the interaction between social, political, and ecological processes decisively shapes the post-conflict landscape.
Although water is an essential input for agriculture and industrial production, it is also scarce in many regions. When it crosses international borders via shared rivers, lakes and aquifers, it can become a source of conflict and contention. Yet while water can be a source of instability, especially in the face of climate change, it can also be a source or catalyst for cooperation and even peace.
The German Federal Foreign Office, in partnership with adelphi, will host a side-event to look into the security risks brought about by climate change, the roles that can be taken up by UN bodies and the distinct vulnerability of Small Island Developing States to climate-security risks.
The Global Climate Action Summit has created a subtle, yet resonating effect on international climate diplomacy. Arguably, its biggest contribution lies in reaffirming the active role of the US in climate action – a refreshing sign of political maturity and environmental responsibility in Trumpian times.
A new report analyses how the transition to a low-carbon economy – and the minerals and metals required to make that shift – could affect fragility, conflict, and violence dynamics in mineral-rich states.
Germany will hold a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2019 and 2020, and has announced that climate fragility will be one of its priorities. In a new brief, Susanne Dröge from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) comments on the challenges Germany will face when moving the topic forward. She stresses the importance of connecting the Security Council’s engagement to other climate and development policy processes and fora.
The “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation” (ECC) exhibition visualizes the dramatic and growing impact of global environmental change. It demonstrates how climate change can threaten the security of the Asian continent, and showcases how climate, environment and sustainable development cooperation can contribute to stability and peace. Dealing with themes such as water, natural resources and climate change, the exhibition shows how environmental degradation and resource scarcity can spark conflict and create new security risks.
The latest issue of the European Security and Defence Union Journal looks into the security challenges brought by climate-related impacts. The issue addresses climate change as a risk multiplier in fragile contexts. Environmental stress, the weaponization of water, monitoring technologies and the role of armed forces are some of the topics.
With the tumultuous NATO summit and a simmering trade war dominating stateside headlines last month, the European Union’s progress on climate-security connections has received little attention. Three significant events herald what could be the start of a new era of climate-security policymaking—one under European leadership.
The links between climate change and security have started entering regional resolutions through the UN Security Council. Germany, elected for a seat on the Council in 2019-20, will again prioritize climate-related security risks as one of its main agendas. What prospects does a renewed engagement on climate security risks offer and is there scope for preventive participation?
States of Fragility 2018 exposes the critical challenge posed by fragility in achieving the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda, sustainable development and peace. It highlights twelve key aspects of fragility, documents progress made in fragile situations on attaining sustainable development and illustrates the current state of financing to address fragility.
To shift humanity onto a sustainable path and secure peace, transformative change is required – globally. The UN’s 17 SDGs serve as critical guardrails. But what is the role of foreign policy in the implementation of these goals and what are the side-effects that diplomacy must be aware of? At the UN High-level Political Forum, experts analysed the geopolitical implications of the SDGs and discussed why foreign policy need to engage with them.
This paper maps out the relevance of the SDGs to foreign policy. Taking the six SDGs under review at the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2018 as entry points, we analyse how progress on specific SDGs may support or undermine progress on foreign policy priorities, especially SDG 16: peace.