One of the key tasks for foreign policy is maintaining stability in an unstable world. Today, few challenges are more threatening to stability than climate change. Carola Van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth and Ambassador for Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, talks about the country’s engagement in bringing the climate issue to the international agenda and highlights the moves being made to implement more concrete projects, particularly in the water sector.
"I think we can all see that climate change is real. It's happening today. We're all experiencing the effects. And some people even more than others. This creates risks: risks for stability, risks for people's livelihoods. So I think it is obvious that foreign policy actors involve themselves with this issue and try to deal with it in the best possible way to prevent further problems and to mitigate them.
We expect the foreign policy community around the world to come together to acknowledge the urgency of acting upon climate change. Also from a foreign policy perspective and then take the action that goes with it.
As the Netherlands we launched the Planetary Security Initiative where we try to build a community of practice around climate and security. We've come a long way, built a good network, raised the attention for the issue, brought it to the agendas and also brought this issue to the Security Council during our one year tenure last year in 2018.
We're now translating this into concrete projects. We're mainstreaming this in our development corporation but we also finance for example the Water, Peace And Security partnership that tries to create tools at an early stage to see what's happening with regard to climate change and water scarcity or other types of water stress and then to help communities to take action."