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.
South Asia’s vulnerability to climate change and associated fragility risks calls for a regional approach to climate services. Different actors need to cooperate to share actionable climate information—the security architecture in the region would benefit.
With cities continuously more threatened by climate change-induced disasters, urban planning’s reflex response is to protect cities against nature. But what if the solution lies in working with nature instead against it? Architect Kongjiang Yu invites readers to imagine what cities could look like if they took into account ancient wisdom on spatial planning.
During the past two weeks, Antigua & Barbuda, Nicaragua and Panama ratified the Escazú Agreement, giving a major boost to the unprecedented and innovative Latin American pact that seeks to reduce social conflicts and protect frontline communities in the world’s deadliest region for environmental defenders.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined priorities for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 26) during a briefing at UN Headquarters. The briefing was hosted by the UK, which will be assuming the COP 26 presidency in partnership with Italy. COP 26 is scheduled to convene from 9-20 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK.