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.
These climate security issues were on the agenda throughout the conference, as speakers from former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to former US Secretary of State John Kerry brought issues of environmental degradation to a conference best known for attracting the world’s most prominent generals and defence ministers. The MSC came hot on the heels of the World Economic Forum in Davos, whose top five risks for 2020 were all about climate and the environment.
adelphi Senior Adviser Janani Vivekananda was one of the panellists at an MSC town hall on food (in)security. Alongside UN World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley and Bayer AG Chairman Werner Baumann, she spoke about how to reduce world hunger and thus the attendant security impacts. World hunger, Vivekananda argued, is largely not about availability of food but rather about “access, inequality, poverty and government policies”. Troublingly, “food security is increasing the risk of violence at every level in society between households, between different groups, and between people and the state.”
adelphi will continue to put climate security on the agenda and to contribute its expertise to the world’s most important international security conferences.
While China is embarking on a bold decarbonisation journey, its foreign investment portfolio remains carbon heavy and raises sustainability concerns.
This interview with adelphi’s Daria Ivleva sheds light on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and its implications for EU-China relations and global climate action, with a focus on the BRI’s investments in Kazakhstan.
In his address on this year’s World Cities Day, UN-Secretary General António Guterres recognised that “cities have borne the brunt of the pandemic” and called upon governments to “prepare cities for future disease outbreaks”. Authorities cannot waste this opportunity to build back better by simultaneously addressing the increasing economic hardship for the urban poor and climate change impacts. This will help prevent not only future health risks but also the increased risk of urban violence and insecurity.
The new group will try to advance climate policies, even as some of its members are likely to clash. Critics say the group’s efforts won’t go far enough.