In a commanding speech at Old Dominion University this week, Secretary Kerry announced a dramatic step toward integrating climate and security into U.S. foreign policy. In Norfolk, Virginia, home to the world’s largest naval station, Kerry said the State Department is creating a new “task force of senior government officials to determine how best to integrate climate and security analysis into overall foreign policy planning and priorities.”
The Defense Department and military leaders have been on the frontlines of understanding the security impacts of climate change, from sea-level rise threatening military installations like those at Norfolk to the competing demands of responding to humanitarian crises caused by extreme weather events.
“Just as the Pentagon has begun to view our military planning through a climate lens, ultimately, we have to integrate climate considerations into every aspect of our foreign policy, from development and humanitarian aid to peacebuilding and diplomacy,” Kerry said. “And that starts with getting a better understanding of the complex links between climate change and national security.”
South Asia’s vulnerability to climate change and associated fragility risks calls for a regional approach to climate services. Different actors need to cooperate to share actionable climate information—the security architecture in the region would benefit.
With cities continuously more threatened by climate change-induced disasters, urban planning’s reflex response is to protect cities against nature. But what if the solution lies in working with nature instead against it? Architect Kongjiang Yu invites readers to imagine what cities could look like if they took into account ancient wisdom on spatial planning.
During the past two weeks, Antigua & Barbuda, Nicaragua and Panama ratified the Escazú Agreement, giving a major boost to the unprecedented and innovative Latin American pact that seeks to reduce social conflicts and protect frontline communities in the world’s deadliest region for environmental defenders.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined priorities for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 26) during a briefing at UN Headquarters. The briefing was hosted by the UK, which will be assuming the COP 26 presidency in partnership with Italy. COP 26 is scheduled to convene from 9-20 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK.