Climate and security were the focus of a high-level foreign policy conference held in Berlin in early June. At the core of the conference was the “Berlin Call for Action”, which aims to catalyse international responses to address climate change as a threat multiplier. The Call sets out three concrete action areas for tackling the threats posed by climate change to peace and security, namely risk-informed planning, enhanced capacity for action and improved operational response. It is more than likely that other foreign ministers will endorse the Call and spread the word. But what if the world doesn’t listen? It was former US Secretary of State John Kerry who highlighted during the conference the war on climate science in some parts of the world (and especially in his country). He stressed the difficulties diplomats are facing in ensuring fact-based foreign policy-making. The same holds true for the European landscape, which is on the edge after the recent European Parliament elections revealed how climate protection is the new conflict line in European societies. Accordingly, the Berlin Call is more than timely but requires substantially more engagement in the course of 2019 to be heard at the upcoming High-level Political Forum and Climate Action Summit in New York, COP25 in Santiago de Chile and elsewhere.
Now in its second decade, the ambitious African Union–led restoration initiative known as the Great Green Wall has brought close to 18 million hectares of land under restoration since 2007, according to a status report unveiled by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at a virtual meeting on Monday, 7 September.
Though focused on climate change, National Adaptation Plans offer important assessments of the risks a country faces and can be valuable in devising comprehensive pandemic response strategies.
As part of this year’s online World Water Week at Home, adelphi and IHE Delft convened the workshop "Water diplomacy: a tool for climate action?". The workshop reflected on the role that foreign policy can play in mitigating, solving and potentially preventing conflicts over the management of transboundary water resources, especially in a changing climate.
The Cerrado, a tropical savannah region located in Central Brazil, is nearly half as large as the Amazon and a deforestation hotspot. Yet little attention is paid to this important biome. That has to change.