The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action. Indeed, climate change impacts are already increasing the pressure on states and societies; however, it is not yet clear how the EU can engage on climate security and environmental peacemaking. In this light, and in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency, adelphi and its partners are organising a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead”.
The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action and policy-making. It sets the EU on course to achieve climate-neutrality and has a number of other important environmental goals such as biodiversity protection and curbing pollution. Beyond Europe – though with different levels of ambition – the majority of countries are implementing measures to decarbonise their economies and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The long-term transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy will require deep, structural changes and will go hand in hand with significant shifts in policy, politics and society at the national level. Against the backdrop of populism and increasing political polarisation, questions of inequality, social justice, democracy, openness, and human rights will continue to gain in salience and urgency. At the same time, environmental degradation and climate change impacts such as drought, extreme weather events and disasters are increasing the pressure on states and societies. Together with other pressures such as inequality, poverty, population growth and urbanisation, they can overwhelm the coping capacity of states and societies and contribute to crisis, fragility and conflict, particularly in countries with weak governance and in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.
The European Green Deal recognises that
“global climate and environmental challenges are a significant threat multiplier and a source of instability [and that] the ecological transition will reshape geopolitics, including global economic, trade and security interests”.
To address these risks and to manage the transformation processes in a peaceful manner, concerted action across policy areas, including foreign policy, security and defence policy, humanitarian action, development policy and climate change adaptation and mitigation, is necessary. As we enter 2020 and the new Commission starts to put the Green Deal into practice, there are a number of topics and questions that remain open:
To explore these questions further, to facilitate discussions between policy makers and experts, and to build capacity amongst EU stakeholders in Brussels and beyond, adelphi seeks to organise and support a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead” with four key actors: EPLO, EIP, IES and ZIF.
Bringing together a broad range of expertise and matching it with the specific needs of the policy community, the objective is to move from awareness-raising to risk-informed decision-making, ranging from timely preventive action to improved humanitarian response, peacebuilding and development programming.
The target audience are EU stakeholders working on EU foreign and security policy, humanitarian action, development cooperation, climate change policy, and other related policy areas.
24/25 March 2020, Brussels | Partner: European Institute of Peace (EIP)
May/June 2020, Brussels | Partner: European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO)
May/June 2020, Brussels | Partner: Zentrum für Internationale Friedenseinsätze (ZIF)
March 2020, Brussels | Partner: The Institute for European Studies (IES)
adelphi will provide input and expertise on environment, climate security and peacebuilding policies during the workshops.
Registration upon invitation. Please contact Ms. Katarina Schulz (email@example.com) for further information.
The round table series is supported by a grant from the German Federal Foreign Office.
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.
In January 2020, the German Federal Foreign Office launched Green Central Asia, a regional initiative on climate and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The aim of the initiative is to support a dialogue in the region on climate change and associated risks in order to foster regional integration between the six countries involved.
Climate change will shift key coordinates of foreign policy in the coming years and decades. Even now, climate policy is more than just environment policy; it has long since arrived at the centre of foreign policy. The German Foreign Office recently released a report on climate diplomacy recognizing the biggest challenges to security posed by climate change and highlighting fields of action for strengthening international climate diplomacy.
A high-level ministerial conference in Berlin is looking at the impact of climate change on regional security in Central Asia. The aim is to foster stronger regional cooperation, improve the exchange of information and form connections with academia and civil society.