Climate Change
Global Issues
Network, globe, map
© Pete Linforth/Pixabay

If the United Nations is to effectively deal with climate-related security risks, it needs expert support from every region. That’s where the Climate Security Expert Network comes in.

There is a broadly held consensus that climate change is a risk multiplier. Yet this consensus is not matched by a common understanding or agreement on what to do about this situation. In order to help fill the knowledge gap and move climate-related security risks higher up the United Nations’ political agenda, adelphi and the German Federal Foreign Office brought together stakeholders from across the world to launch the Climate Security Expert Network (CSEN).

How does the Climate Security Expert Network work?

The Climate Security Expert Network supports policy-makers within and beyond the UN by synthesising knowledge on climate-fragility risks and making this knowledge easily accessible for policy-makers. It comprises some 30 experts from backgrounds such as academia, foreign and security policy, and non-governmental organisations. They will synthesise scientific knowledge and expertise, advise on entry points for building resilience to climate-security risks, and help to strengthen a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities of addressing climate-related security risks. To this end, the network produces thematic and geographic analyses. Geographic analyses come in the shape of two-page factsheets summarising risks and entry points, whereas longer risk briefs provide context and further analysis.

Risk Briefs on Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Pacific, and South Asia

The first four risk briefs – on Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Pacific, and South Asia – are already available on the CSEN website. These reports detail how climate change can worsen poverty, weaken governance, and contribute to instability: for example, more frequent droughts in Afghanistan will boost the drug economy in the country by encouraging farmers to plant poppies, a drought-resistant crop.

Climate change and security: Advancing the debate

Interested readers can also find a section with frequently asked questions about why climate change is a threat to security and thus a matter of concern for the UN Security Council (UNSC), as well as a short history of UNSC engagement on the issue.
The UNSC is an essential actor when it comes to advancing the debate and encouraging effective action. The Berlin Call to Action, published in the framework of the inaugural 2019 Berlin Climate Security Conference, recognised the importance of the body and called for 1) risk-informed planning 2) enhanced capacity for action and 3) improved operational responses.

Background information

adelphi runs the Secretariat for the network, which was made possible by a grant from the German Federal Foreign Office. The network will continue its work in the coming months and years, adding new regional risk briefs and holding consultation processes.

For further information, please visit the Climate Security Expert Network (CSEN) website or contact the Secretariat.

Climate Diplomacy
Global Issues
Dennis Tänzler, adelphi
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...
Conflict Transformation
Global Issues

New report for policymakers provides an overview of the growing research on the links between climate change, security and peace. The synthesis identifies ten insights into climate-related security risks and lays the groundwork for the Global Climate Security Risk and Foresight Assessment, led by adelphi and PIK, that will be launched at the Berlin Climate and Security Conference.

Ariana Barrenechea, Sophia Christina Tomany and Teslin Maria Augustine, with contributions from Abhishek Raj, John Chrysostom Kamoga, Nadja Macherey, Sonia Ran and Varad Vatsal (Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt)

In the wake of Germany’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) presidency for the month of July 2020, its role in addressing climate change in the body gains even greater importance. A look into selected UNSC members that are also pushing the climate issue reveals: health and economic risks are key entry-points.

Dhanasree Jayaram, MAHE

It’s official: India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2021-22. Previously, the country has adopted a cautionary approach towards climate security. While it may not significantly shift its positions, global realities may trigger more openness, with an eye on multilateralism, rule of law and fairness.