On 27 February 2018, as reported in Council conclusions 6125/18, the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on climate diplomacy. It marks the formal signaling of EU’s Foreign Ministers to make climate security a priority.
The conclusions recognise that climate change has direct and indirect implications for international security and stability. Climate projects in developing countries need to become more conflict sensitive while security approaches more climate sensitive. The document calls for further mainstreaming the nexus between climate change and security in policy dialogue, conflict prevention, development and humanitarian action and disaster risk strategies.
The EU promotes here the ongoing work in the framework of the G7 and in the UN system and encourage the UNSC to increase its focus on the climate and security nexus. The Council calls for effective responses to climate security risks across policy areas; and underlines the importance of translating climate and security analysis into possible action, referring to the 2017 Hague Declaration as part of the Planetary Security Conference series as an example.
A high-level event on climate and security at the initiative of HR/VP Federica Mogherini will be held in Brussels in June 2018, underlining the EU’s commitment to address the destabilising effects and risks of climate change. In addition, Members of the European Parliament (Arne Lietz and Jo Leinen) plan an own initiative report on the topic, which is also due for June 2018.
After the recent G7 meeting, much is said about the growing divergence of national interests and about whether the group is able to maintain its leadership on global issues. Amidst feelings of uncertainty and disenchantment left behind by Charlevoix, one thing cannot be ignored: clear commitments on climate change, environment and sustainability issues were made.
The UK has been accused of trying to “fudge” how much money it spends on subsidising coal mining and fossil fuel use despite its pledge to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020.
Climate shocks as drivers of migration might be long present in the environmental narrative, but they are hardly being addressed on a policy level.
Reducing the impacts of disasters in developing countries is absolutely vital - especially in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The invention of climate risk insurance has been a major breakthrough in that regard. If they are well-designed and mitigate potential negative side effects, climate risk insurance could play a major role in supporting the poor. To support this, insurance initiatives should monitor both positive and negative impacts.