Parallel to the beginning of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) submitted its report "Climate Change as Security Risk" to the federal government. The key finding of the report is the fact that the impacts of unmitigated climate change will overburden the capacities of many states. As a consequence, the number of weak and fragile states will increase. Furthermore, environment-induced migration will rise and conflicts over scarce resources will become aggravated. Additionally, we can expect severe negative impacts on the global economy. According to the WBGU, the next 10 to 15 years will be decisive to prevent these effects from becoming reality. If the international community fails to act within this period, the outlined negative impacts of climate change will start to materialize in approximately 15 to 30 years. Representatives of the federal government, including the ministries of development, environment, education and research, and foreign affairs therefore emphasized the urgent need for action: Protecting the climate is no longer mere environmental policy, but has become a concern for all policy areas. The upcoming months will be critical to pave the way for starting comprehensive negotiations on a post-Kyoto agreement. Thus, during the public presentation of the study at the 17th Forum Global Issues, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed the following objective: "We intend to make climate policy a driving force behind international cooperation and stability."
In addition to the main report, the WBGU commissioned nine external studies on related topics, among them a world map of environmental conflicts from 1980 to 2005. Their results as well as the English summary of the main report are available on the homepage of the WBGU. (by Achim Maas)
For more information, see http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_jg2007_presse_engl.html
Published in: ECC-Newsletter, June 2007