Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Security
Global Issues
Martin Wall and Stella Schaller, adelphi
AMISON Kismayo
Soldiers of the Somali National Army. Photo credits: AMISON Public Information/Flickr.com/Stuart Price. Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/au_unistphotostream/8049963555

An environmentally unsustainable system produces instability, which inevitably leads to insecurity. This is the hypothesis of a substantial new report by WWF France, titled “Sustainability, Stability, Security”. The report argues that only integrated responses can work, and looks into the role of climate diplomacy for promoting action on climate, security and development issues…

By drawing on several regional examples such as droughts in Darfur, El Nino in Latin America and flooding in Thailand, the report illustrates how climate change and environmental events influence and destabilise ecosystems and consequently human organisations. As certain territories, particularly in Africa and Asia, are more vulnerable given their geographic location and limited capacity to react to weather events, the report argues, the international community should act accordingly, take heed of the threat and rethink security in times of climate change.

According to the report, joint efforts such adelphi’s Climate Diplomacy initiative and the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) are valuable fora for fostering relationships between various military, ecological, diplomatic and economic communities. It recommends that such initiatives be strengthened to encourage communities to meet and review current issues and to take joint measures with the aim of ensuring security by tackling climate change. On top of this, the report stressed the importance of the research work of public policy think tanks for ensuring that the problems of climate, security and development are given a central role in national and international agendas. It found that independent analysis is critical to achieve intelligent and integrated policy in order to prevent risk and insecurity. Moreover, this type of research enables decision makers to prepare appropriate responses to ongoing situations.

Validation of the importance of climate diplomacy

This report is validation of the importance of climate diplomacy as an evolving foreign policy discipline. It reinforces the message that climate change and security concerns are interlinked and require an appropriate policy response and frameworks. As the report makes clear, the issue is a global problem that not only impacts the environment but also the economy, institutions and society as a whole.

WWF France maintains that it is now up to states and international organisations to develop appropriate responses, beginning with compliance with the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving this will considerably diminish the risk of insecurity and conflict worldwide, but an integrated response is key. International organisations, states and supranational institutions need to integrate climate/security thinking into diplomatic strategies and promote adaptation and resilience.

Recommendations

With this report, WWF France has set out a doctrine – one that adelphi and the German Federal Foreign Office have been engaging with and supporting over the last number of years – that climate issues should be examined as a potential part of the underlying sources of conflict alongside political, ethnic, religious and economic issues.

Consequently, WWF France has eight recommendations:

  1. Implement the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  2. Produce a robust and independent expertise
  3. Strengthen international cooperation through initiatives that promote climate diplomacy
  4. Transform analyses and initiatives into concrete action for local populations, especially youth
  5. Provide training in Sustainability-Stability-Security to military and diplomatic staff on a national level
  6. Add sustainability experts to the crisis management departments of diplomatic missions and defence ministries
  7. To prevent risk, anticipate crises and improve operational responses, defence and foreign ministries should join forces to reproduce the IPCC scenarios and stress tests them against the potential consequences of unchecked global warming
  8. Increase financing for resilience and adaptation to climate change by considering it an investment in local and global security.

According to WWF France, the investment in sustainability is a way of actively promoting a safer, more stable world and it is an investment in world peace.

 

Edited by Raquel Munayer, adelphi.


Biodiversity & Livelihoods
Civil Society
Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Forests
South America
Global Issues
Megan Darby, Climate Home

Jair Bolsonaro, Brasil’s current de facto presidential frontrunner, says he would withdraw Brazil from the Paris Agreement if he wins the October election. The withdrawal of such an important developing country, home to the world’s largest rainforest, would deal a blow to international climate cooperation. Bolsorano’s opposition to the international pact has drawn criticism from the UN’s environment chief.

Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Global Issues
Arne Lietz (MEP) and Rosa Beckmann (Policy Adviser)

Until now, no one had seriously doubted that relations between the US and Europe, for all the difficulties and conflicts they have gone through, would continue safe and sound. Since Trump was elected as US President however, the atmosphere has changed. The re-nationalisation of the world order has gained speed and is making clear how far advanced global interdependencies have become. With global multilateralism in crisis, climate diplomacy could act as a new driving force.

Adaptation & Resilience
Civil Society
Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Private Sector
Sustainable Transformation
Global Issues
Dennis Tänzler, adelphi
There are only a few weeks to go before international and local leaders from states, regions, cities, businesses, investors and civil society travel to the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco to create a new wave of mobilization. As Earth is at risk of entering a situation of extreme conditions, those going must bring along more than just flowers in their hair.
Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Development
Early Warning & Risk Analysis
Energy
Private Sector
Water
Oceania & Pacific
Asia
Dhanasree Jayaram, Manipal Academy of Higher Education

The surge in the frequency and intensity of climate change impacts has raised the alarm about how this could hamper coastal activities. Several critical ports in the Indo-Pacific region are hubs of international trade and commerce and at the same time vulnerable to typhoons, taller waves and erosion. India’s climate diplomacy at the regional level could activate climate-resilient pathways for port development and management.