With much of the Middle East in turmoil, authorities devote their resources to fighting ISIS, the refugee crisis and the most pressing economic and social concerns. Peter Schwartzstein, a Cairo-based journalist, reports on the struggle of environmental agencies to be heard in times of conflict. The secondary status of the environment is regrettable, as landscape degradation and pollutant floods in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan and other countries is contributing to a broader picture of instability.
Top UN officials call for action to protect environment in times of war. "Environmental protection needs to take a more prominent role in our response to conflict", says UN Environment head Erik Solheim.
In a paper released by PNAS, Nina von Uexkull, Mihai Croicu, Hanne Fjelde, and Halvard Buhaug argue that the lack of consensus among researchers working on the connection between climate change and conflict is tied to the inadequate attention given to “the context in which droughts and other climatic extremes increase the risk of violent mobilization.” This is an essential consideration in order to move beyond broad generalizations and identify group motivations and vulnerabilities.
In a recent paper published by Climatic Change, Nick Obradovich conducts the “first-ever” investigation into the relationship between rising global temperatures, electoral returns, and climate change. Using data from more than 1.5 billion votes cast across electoral contests held in 19 countries, he found that when the annual average temperature for a country rose above 70°F, there was a “marked” decrease in the number of votes received by incumbent officeholders.
Environmental threats do not respect national borders. Governments have realized that to avert this danger they must notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that might have adverse environmental impact across borders. The ESPOO Convention is a key step to bringing together all stakeholders to prevent environmental damage before it occurs. The Convention entered into force in 1997.
The World Economic Forum is a foundation based in Cologny, Geneva (Switzerland). It is mainly known for the annual meeting in Davos where leading economists, politicians, journalists and experts meet to discuss global questions such as economic development, health and environment.
Manipal University is organising a thematic seminar series on “Environmental Security in India” in November 2016, under the auspices of the Climate Diplomacy initiative supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. As a part of the ongoing efforts to build the University’s research and development base in environmental studies and climate change, it seeks to establish synergies between fundamental research in natural (physical) sciences, engineering, security and policy, especially in the environmental and climate policy domains.
Which are the most useful twitter accounts to follow during COP22? We provide you with a list of useful twitter accounts with a foreign policy perspective to keep an eye on before, during and after COP22:
From 7-18 November 2016, adelphi’s experts on climate diplomacy, climate resilience, local climate action, and more, were in Marrakech for the COP22 discussions and key side-events. In cooperation with the EU, the German Federal Foreign Office, NEPAD and other partners, adelphi convened and was involved in several side-events on climate diplomacy:
There may not have been a single question about climate change in the 2016 presidential debates, but it remains a hotly contested, partisan issue for many in the United States. That climate change is happening and requires a response is not up for debate within the upper echelons of the U.S. military, however.
Both international trade and climate policy are integral parts of countries’ overall foreign policy challenges. A comprehensive understanding of their interconnection and how to make use of trade policy instruments in ramping up climate action can therefore be seen as a crucial element of successful climate diplomacy.
Regional trade deals are often met with negativity by green groups because of potential contradictions with climate policy. And some World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules may be seen as hampering emission reductions. But rather than focusing solely on what is wrong with the trade system, the debate should also focus on how governments could try to shape trade agreements to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.