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.”
New report for policymakers provides an overview of the growing research on the links between climate change, security and peace. The synthesis identifies ten insights into climate-related security risks and lays the groundwork for the Global Climate Security Risk and Foresight Assessment, led by adelphi and PIK, that will be launched at the Berlin Climate and Security Conference.
In the wake of Germany’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) presidency for the month of July 2020, its role in addressing climate change in the body gains even greater importance. A look into selected UNSC members that are also pushing the climate issue reveals: health and economic risks are key entry-points.
It’s official: India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2021-22. Previously, the country has adopted a cautionary approach towards climate security. While it may not significantly shift its positions, global realities may trigger more openness, with an eye on multilateralism, rule of law and fairness.