The Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) released its inaugural “World Climate and Security Report 2020” at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), the annual and influential gathering of senior international security and military leaders.
The mission of the Munich Security Conference is to “address the world’s most pressing security concerns”. These days, that means climate security: climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier, and anyone discussing food security, political instability, migration, or competition over resources should be aware of the climate change pressures that are so often at the root of security problems.
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”.
This report assesses how peacebuilding programming can produce adaptation benefits, so that interventions simultaneously contribute to reduced intercommunal conflict and strengthened resilience to shocks. It draws on the evaluations of programs that included peacebuilding and climate change adaptation to synthesize lessons learned, develop and test a theory of change, and offer recommendations integrating approaches that consider and address compound climate-fragility risks.
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.
This Research Paper takes stock of what we currently know about the links between climate change, fragility and conflict, summarizing evidence from research and practice over the last 25 years.
Evidence from existing programs shows that climate change adaptation interventions can contribute to peacebuilding, and peacebuilding can have significant adaptation benefits.
If you have even a passing familiarity with the climate and security literature, you undoubtedly have come across the phrase “threat multiplier.” The phrase conveys the idea that climate change intersects with other factors to contribute to security problems. It’s used as short-hand to avoid the charge of environmental determinism, that climate change somehow on its own causes negative security outcomes.
During its main conference in February, the MSC assembles more than 450 senior decision-makers as well as thought leaders from around the world, including heads of state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organizations, high-ranking representatives from business, the media, academia, and civil society to debate pressing issues of international security policy.
Climate change poses a growing security risk in Central Asia and Afghanistan, where it has a particularly severe impact on glaciers and natural resources such as water, land and soil. As part of a preventive and stabilising foreign policy, the Federal Foreign Office launched Green Central Asia, a regional initiative on climate and security in the region on 28 January 2020.
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.
Environmental peacebuilding is a good idea. As a practice, it aims to address simultaneously environmental problems and challenges related to violent conflict. Examples include the promotion of environmental cooperation between rival states, conflict-sensitive adaptation to climate change, and restoring access to land and water in post-conflict societies. However, environmental peacebuilding can negatively affect development, chip away at environmental protection, and erode peace. In new study, Tobias Ide highlights six different aspects of the dark side of environmental peacebuilding.
The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will convene the 2020 session of the HLPF from Tuesday, 7 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020. Following the first five-days, the HLPF's three-day ministerial segment takes place jointly with ECOSOC's high-level segment from Tuesday-Thursday, 14-16 July 2020. The ECOSOC high-level segment concludes on 17 July 2020.