In May 2018, the Brazilian Institute for Climate and Society and the German Embassy in Brazil hosted an event on international climate and security in Rio de Janeiro. The meeting, joined by experts from the public sector, civil society and international think tanks, reflects Latin America’s increased interest in the international dimension of climate fragility risks.
Latin America is no stranger to the security implications of climate change. Natural disasters and resource scarcity in the region’s arid zones have driven populations to move and shaped the continent’s urban centres for decades, leading to resource depletion and aggravating urban fragility. But the continent is now also starting to pick up on the global dimension of climate security, e.g. geopolitical impacts, and is looking into how to prepare for a changing international scenario.
On 18 May 2018, the Institute for Climate and Society hosted an event on International Climate and Security in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where adelphi’s Alexander Carius highlighted climate impacts as a stress multiplier with high conflict-inducing potential. He drew attention to the Lake Chad situation and stressed how this climate security hotspot is crucial for understanding and addressing global security threats arising from regional climatic pressures.
In his intervention, Carius addressed how climate impacts as well as adaptation strategies might influence regional power relations and fundamentally change the global geopolitical scenario. “What will happen if Germany meets its target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduces its dependency on Russian oil and gas?” questioned Carius, as an example of how far-reaching the consequences of international climate governance can be. He also emphasized the need to prepare cities for the inevitable strain on infrastructure that will arise from growing climate migration to urban centres, a well-known problem in the Latin American continent.
The event is part of the Sustainable Future Dialogues initiative and gathered experts and academics from the German Embassy in Brazil, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), the United Nations Population Fund Brazil (UNFPA Brazil), the Fondación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA), the Center for Climate & Security, the Climate Change Division of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DCLIMA), the Brazilian Defence Ministry, the International Institute for Sustainability (IIS) and Conectas Human Rights.
One of the world’s lowest-lying countries invited international experts to discuss the security challenges related to climate change.
Nepal and Afghanistan face a number of serious climate-fragility risks, so adelphi brought together regional government officials and NGO experts for a training in Kathmandu on 9 November 2019.
At a briefing ahead of the COP25, foreign minister Heiko Maas called for higher ambition for the European Union, which should act as a role-model to incentivate other states to boost their commitments to climate action. He further reiterated the importance of supporting multilateralism and an international climate regime that is able to withstand setbacks, such as the US withdrawal of the Paris Agreement.
Climate change is increasingly challenging global security and undermining peacebuilding efforts. UN Environment and the European Union have joined forces to address these challenges. With the support of adelphi, they have developed a toolkit on ‘Addressing climate-fragility risks’. This toolkit facilitates the development and implementation of strategies, policies, and projects that seek to build resilience by linking climate change adaptation, peacebuilding, and sustainable livelihoods, focusing on the pilot countries Sudan and Nepal.