26 May 2016 – At a meeting today in the United Nations Security Council on the situation in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa, senior UN officials stressed that climate change plays a direct role in the region’s security, development and stability by increasing drought and fuelling conflict.
Forging national unity has been a perennial challenge to Nigeria’s evolution as a country. Since independence from Britain 56 years ago, the country continues to weather severe existential storms that strike at its very core.
"If you think current conflicts are all-consuming, imagine what happens when we add food shortages, water shortages, stronger storms, longer droughts, steady rises in sea-levels, which are already being predicted, and entire countries swallowed by the sea. […] We don’t have to sit here and wait for this to happen. If we accelerate the transition towards clean energy solutions – we have the technology, we have the knowledge.”
On May 1st to 2nd 2016, the G7 Energy Ministers together with the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy met at Kitakyushu, Japan to discuss developments since their 2015 Hamburg meeting, especially against the background of volatile energy prices and the Paris Agreement.
The signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement is an important opportunity for Europe to make the successful lessons from Paris into pillars of its diplomatic strategy. In June 2016, European Heads of State and Government will discuss a new “Global Strategy” on security and foreign policy. Delivering the Paris Agreement must be placed directly at its core if Europe wants to stay safe and prosperous.
Last month, the World Bank’s Fragility Forum in Washington, DC, brought together some 600 participants to discuss how to advance sustainable development in the context of increasing conflicts and violence. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim opened the forum by emphasizing that we are at a critical moment. While the first two decades after the end of the Cold War saw a significant decline in the casualties from violent conflicts around the world, this trend has unfortunately reversed in recent years. Around 60 million people were forcibly displaced last year – the most since World War II – and these numbers are on the rise. Most displaced persons remain within their respective home countries, but more than 15 million are refugees.
At its 585th meeting on March 30 2016, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union held an open session on Climate Change: State fragility, peace and security in Africa. The debate reflected the collective acknowledgement that climate change, peace and security in Africa are inextricably linked, stressing the need for all AU Member States to further build national resilience capacities.
In his recent address at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile States conference on March 30 2016, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion spoke about the climate-security-nexus, stating that conflicts like the Syrian civil war may
During April 10 and11 2016, the G7 Foreign Ministers met at Hiroshima, Japan to discuss current international affairs in the run-up to the G7 Summit in May. In the final Joint Communiqué they once again took a strong stance on tackling climate-fragility risks collectively. They endorsed a quick entry into force of the Paris Agreement by all parties, while also emphasizing the role of the G7 in the prevention of climate fragility risks and the need to further consider these challenges as part of their foreign policies:
A new report entitled The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment has been formally unveiled at the White House on Monday the 4th April 2016.
In this speech at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile State Conference, Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, points out the connections between climate change and fragility, drawing on specific country examples. He stresses the need for integrated actions and the potential of Canada.
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a “U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership”. The statement emphasizes the importance of addressing compound climate-fragility risks and both leaders agree to continue addressing these challenges, in particular through the G-7 working group on climate and fragility.
"Over the years, the United Nations, Governments and the people of the world have come to recognize climate change as a deadly peril to our ecosystems and, by that, to our security and, indeed, our survival. We may in many cases in life have a Plan B – but we simply have no Planet B.” - Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, speaking at the 52nd Munich Security Conference