Climate Diplomacy
Global Issues
Dennis Tänzler, adelphi
The Security Council in session at the UN headquarters in New York | © UN Photo/Mark Garten

It’s crunch time for the global climate security discourse. While the COVID-19 crisis remains the key present challenge, it’s time to take stock of where the debate stands on the security implications of climate change in the run-up to another debate in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) scheduled for July 2020. The Berlin Climate Security Conference series initiated a year ago with a call for action complements the UNSC debate, with one conference taking place end of June and a follow-up conference in September 2020 to pave the way for more action. A “Global Climate Security Risk and Foresight Assessment,” intended to help identify concrete solutions, is part of implementing the call. It should enable the international community to design and implement early action to avoid an increase in fragility and decarbonisation on the basis of robust and interdisciplinary scientific findings.

This newsletter edition looks into some of the preliminary insights of the foresight assessment, and also aims at offering some insights into the perspective of non-permanent members – some of them heavily impacted by the consequences of climate change on their political, social and economic stability. Researchers from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt analysed the potential expectations of the Dominican Republic, Viet Nam, and South Africa. The three states are UNSC members in 2020 and acknowledge the economic and health risks posed by climate change as key vulnerabilities that can create common ground in New York in a few weeks. For the next years, India will also be a driving force as incoming non-permanent member of the Security Council. India has shown that it can be quite effective in promoting dialogue with developing countries on their key concerns. In this context, India is well-known for stressing principles such as fairness, representation and transparency. Seen in this light, there are some prospects for broadening the debate on climate security in the UNSC and good reason to take a second look at the follow-up to the July debate in New York.

Natasha Vizcarra, Global Landscapes Forum

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.

Adaptation & Resilience
Global Issues
Anne Hammill, IISD

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.

Global Issues
Raquel Munayer, adelphi

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.

South America
Adriana E. Abdenur, Igarapé Institute

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.