"Land degradation is a root cause of migration and a trigger of conflicts", said Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in a recent interview with the ECC platform. Whether for growing crops, grazing animals or constructing houses – land is a prerequisite for human life. But global pressures on land are increasing and threaten millions of livelihoods - and thus peace and stability.
After the recent G7 meeting, much is said about the growing divergence of national interests and about whether the group is able to maintain its leadership on global issues. Amidst feelings of uncertainty and disenchantment left behind by Charlevoix, one thing cannot be ignored: clear commitments on climate change, environment and sustainability issues were made.
The German Federal Foreign Office and adelphi co-organized the side event “Global Resilience Agenda: A Foreign Policy Perspective on the SDGs” on 17 July 2018 at the High Level Political Forum 2018, which took place in the German Permanent Mission in New York. The event sought to deepen the understanding of the SDGs and geopolitics and the particularities of each region. A range of high-ranking officials from the UN and national governments joined the event, as well as experts from academia and civil society.
The UK has been accused of trying to “fudge” how much money it spends on subsidising coal mining and fossil fuel use despite its pledge to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020.
Climate shocks as drivers of migration might be long present in the environmental narrative, but they are hardly being addressed on a policy level. According to MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, the lack of a legal definition of ‘climate refugees’ effectively excludes the issue from international agendas – and creates space for generalized scepticism.
Can climate change be the source of conflicts or is it merely one among several catalyzers that worsen the pre-existing condition on the ground in some cases? And how can we avoid climate change mitigation and adaptation policies not to become a new source of tensions between groups in society?
From 8-9 June 2018, Canada will be hosting this year's G7 Summit. In advance of the meeting, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, published this statement in the publication 'G7 Canada: The Charlevoix Summit':
Reducing the impacts of disasters in developing countries is absolutely vital - especially in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The invention of climate risk insurance has been a major breakthrough in that regard. If they are well-designed and mitigate potential negative side effects, climate risk insurance could play a major role in supporting the poor. To support this, insurance initiatives should monitor both positive and negative impacts.
With the building of one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams on the Blue Nile River, Ethiopia sets a new phase of development for the country and neighbours; but not every affected country is happy. The project is a classic example of the ‘water-energy-food nexus’ dilemma, demonstrating that countries are in constant competition over the use of natural resources for different sectors and conflicting national development agendas.
The world’s water resources have come under ever-greater strain. At the same time, institutional frameworks for managing water resources remain weak throughout most of the globe. Only about a quarter of the world’s international river basins have adequate governance arrangements to prevent and resolve conflicts. Does this mean that we can expect the 21st century to be wracked by water wars?
The conference is part of the “Resilience and Vulnerability at the urban nexus of food, water, energy and the environment” (ResNexus) project jointly funded by the FAPESP, ESRC and NWO. It will be hosted by the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University and Research in conjunction with the ResNexus project partners Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex and the Faculty of Public Health at the University of São Paulo.
Achieving the 2030 Agenda is essential to peace and stability worldwide, and is becoming an important point of reference for foreign policy. As European Sustainable Development Week launches across Europe, European embassies in Berlin are engaging with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and raising awareness about the entire sustainable development agenda among foreign policy communities.