This year’s UN Climate Change conference is about to kick off in Bonn, Germany. In its wake, natural and political hurricanes have shaken the planet and will affect the climate at COP23. There promises to be a packed agenda with negotiations ongoing on the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s objectives.
COP23 will be crucial to pave the way for the facilitative dialogue due in 2018 to ensure that a further improvement of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) will be improved and overall ambition increased. In addition, further steps needs to be taken towards the socalled "Paris Rule Book" to give more flesh to the bones of the Paris Agreement and guide the parties towards implementation. But, of course, with Fiji’s COP23 presidency, this conference is more. Adaptation and disaster management will be the forefront of the discussion – and the international climate community must send clear signals of solidarity and commitment to those states most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
With this special newsletter on COP23, we aim to shed light on some key developments and issues to be aware of because they are not necessarily at the top of the agenda of negotiators at the moment but ask for prolonged leadership of climate diplomats.
Migration has been a primary political concern in many regions. Anja Mihr from the Center on Governance through Human Rights looks at climate migration through the human rights lens. Next, we zero in on how important climate-related migration is for small island states, which must not be left behind. Fiji’s COP23 presidency offers an opportunity to put this matter high on the agenda.
International climate policy is shaken by a ‘leadership vacuum', not least because Donald Trump announced his intention that the United States will pull out of the Paris Agreement. This raises the likelihood that COP23 will be a political COP just as much as it will be a technical COP. Paul Joffe, former Senior Foreign Policy Counsel at the World Resources Institute, argues that climate change needs to be part of a broad, integrated agenda because of its vast implications for economic and social development. Ultimately, it is a powerful argument for increased foreign policy involvement.
Last but not least, as the debate on the links between climate and conflict continues, Adrien Detges from adelphi responds to research that disputes the contribution of climate change to the Syrian uprising. Alexander Carius, Managing Director at adelphi, then illustrates how climate change exacerbates the deadly cocktail of catastrophes in the Lake Chad Basin – and why it is paramount that the international community responds.
So stay tuned to all that is happening at COP23! We suggest 12 top Twitter accounts you can follow to do so.
Greetings from Berlin
Stephan Wolters, Senior Project Manager at adelphi
Central Asian countries have long been competing over the water resources of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya river basins. Despite political commitment to cooperation, the policies of the five Central Asian republics – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – have largely been driven by uncoordinated and partly contradicting national strategies. This focus on short-term national interests entails significant financial costs and major risks for the future development of the whole region.
The destruction caused by Cyclone Ockhi in South Asia portends what a ‘climate-changed’ world has in store for humankind, especially taking into consideration the adverse human security implications of such disasters that have to be addressed urgently. Dhanasree Jayaram argues that planetary security in this context can be best ensured at the regional level.
The Lake Chad region experiences a multitude of crises: lack of employment and education opportunities, resource scarcity and violent conflict, all exacerbated by the effects of climate change, making the Lake Chad region Africa’s largest humanitarian emergency. At the margins of the Planetary Security Conference 2017, we spoke with the independent conflict adviser Chitra Nagarajan about the region’s future.
To avoid dangerous climate change, we need engagement from across the political spectrum. Our editorial team has asked Adam Corner, expert on climate communications, how to reach out to traditionally disengaged audiences. In his blog, he explains how to “talk climate” and build bridges rather than walls.