On 22 June 2018, the High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini will convene and host a high-level event 'Climate, Peace, and Security: The Time for Action'. The 22 June 2018 event will be held in Brussels, Palais d’Egmont, and will assess new and ongoing climate change threats, evaluate progress on climate-security policy and operational linkages, and analyse options to further progress action on climate, security, and peace.
As mentioned in the Council Conclusions on Climate Diplomacy (26 February 2018) the high level event will ‘underline the growing importance of addressing the destabilising effects and risks of climate change and reconfirm the EU’s and its partners’ commitment to switch and ambitious action’. The gathering comes ten years after the landmark joint report on climate change and international security by High Representative Javier Solana and the European Commission.
The high-level gathering will focus on two main themes: the responsibility to prepare in the face of climate security risks; and moving from early warning to early action. It is inspired by the EU Global Strategy’s integrated approach to risk and security, and the EU’s commitment to monitor and act upon the root causes of conflict. The objective is to examine the climate-security nexus by bringing together climate, foreign and security policy leaders from across the world, in order to identify the range of approaches which can be taken to address the global and growing challenge.
The responsibility to prepare in the face of climate security risks theme will address the need to better assess, anticipate and prepare for the increasingly severe and numerous climate-related situations for which diplomatic, law enforcement and defence capabilities are increasingly being called upon to intervene. Examining different types of challenges in different parts of the world, the participants will highlight how climate action needs to become more conflict sensitive, while at the same time security approaches need to be more climate sensitive.
The from early warning to early action theme will discuss available options tackle the climate security risks from both the perspectives of climate action and from the perspective of conflict prevention, harnessing and strengthening relevant early warning systems. Building on the Paris Agreement's goals of tackling the causes and managing the impacts of climate change, the participants will explore ways to enhance the climate sensitivity of the current actions in the domains of stabilisation, security and sustainable development. The aim is to identify positive models of whole-of-government approaches to tackling the climate-security nexus and reinforce the ever more pressing case for cooperation between countries for lasting positive outcomes to be achieved.
Iraq is on the verge of an environmental breakdown, and climate change is not helping. The country's fragile environment and the increasing scarcity of natural resources — particularly water — are a result of poor environmental management, as well as several political and historical factors. However, as climate change impacts add to the existing pressures, the environmental collapse turns into a security issue.
The severity of desertification and its mutual relationship with climate change cannot be overstated. In light of the recent launch of the Special Report on Climate Change and Land by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Robert McSweeney from Carbon Brief explains what desertification is, what role climate change plays, and what impact it has across the world.
A new form of organized crime has recently been emerging in the Amazon: illegal mining. Miners fell trees, use high-grade explosives to oblast soils and dredge riverbeds. But the impacts go beyond environmental damages, bringing with it a slew of other social problems. Peace researcher Adriana Abdenur urges policymakers to improve coordination and argues that diplomacy may help prevent further conflicts, corruption and crime.
To fight illegal coca plantations and conflict actors’ income sources, Colombia’s president wants to loosen the ban on aerial glyphosate spraying. However, considering the dynamics of organised crime, the use of toxic herbicides will not only fail to achieve its aim, it will have many adverse effects for the environment and human health, fundamentally undermining ways to reach peace in the country. International cooperation and national policy-makers need to account for this peace spoiler.