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.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous parallels have been drawn between this health crisis and the climate crisis. Science plays an important role in advising decision makers on how to ensure sustainable crisis management and a precautionary approach to avoid harmful repercussions, particularly where we do not yet know all the consequences of our actions. [...]
Decarbonisation won’t come as fast as the pandemic. But if fossil fuel exporters are not prepared for it, they will face an enduring crisis. The EU can help.
Stories of clear skies and wildlife conquering urban areas might provide much needed comfort during these uncertain times as the health crisis unfolds. But in Brazil, where climate and environmental issues already lack attention and resources, the pandemic underscores the next crisis.
Solutions to the current COVID-19 crisis need to be aligned to those of the climate crisis for a global transformation towards more sustainability, resilience, equity, and justice. Climate diplomacy has the tools to achieve these objectives simultaneously.