European External Action Service

Protecting our environment is the big challenge of our times, not just of one day. Still, each and every day matters. And this Climate diplomacy day is an opportunity we cannot miss.

2015 is a decisive year for climate negotiations. This coming December we will gather in Paris to conclude a new global, legally binding agreement which will help us keep on the path to a sustainable future. Our best efforts are needed to make Paris successful. The time to act is now.

Climate change does not belong to a remote future. It is all around us. It affects us directly. It is already impairing our security environment. The increasing scarcity of natural resources is becoming a major source of conflict and instability. In today's wars, a dam is at times more strategic than an oil refinery. Floods and droughts can force entire populations to leave their homes and put their lives in the hands of human traffickers.

The EU feels the urgency of the moment. We are addressing the emergency all around the world, by helping the most vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change. Climate diplomacy day is an opportunity to share the stories of the small islands in the Pacific Ocean that are becoming more resilient to water scarcity, or of the Ethiopian farmer who is finally making a living from his field thanks to climate-smart agriculture. Our actions matter to them. We have the power to make a difference.

As we make headway for the people affected by a changing environment today, let us not forget to look further. Tackling climate change is a moral duty towards our children. Leading the way towards a more sustainable future is the right thing to do for Europe. And that is what we are doing. We established a comprehensive system of environmental protection covering all aspects from energy efficiency to the reduction and recycling of waste, the management of water bodies, the conservation of natural habitats. We have put forward an ambitious emissions' reduction target on which we are already delivering. Our aim is to achieve at least 40% domestic greenhouse gas emission reductions on 1990 levels by 2030. But our continent accounts only for around 9% of global emissions: while our lead is vital, and our responsibility higher, teamwork will be even more important/this can only be a collective effort.

Reducing greenhouse emissions calls for a truly global alliance. Governments will have to be mobilised, as much as grassroots. The EU Delegations – our embassies to the world – will use Climate diplomacy day to reach out to our partners, to the general public, to the business community, to civil society organisations. Everyone can do their part. And everyone must do their part, for this is not just something that concerns cabinets and institutions. It is the battle of all present and future generations. It is a matter of survival. It is our responsibility.

Find more information on the European Climate Diplomacy Day here.

Peter Schwartzstein, Center for Climate and Security

The longstanding dispute over water rights among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia escalated in 2011 when Ethiopia began construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in the absence of any agreement with downstream Egypt. The GERD dispute offers an alarming insight into just how dangerous future transboundary water disputes may become, particularly in the context of a changing climate.

Sustainable Transformation
Global Issues
Emily Wright, adelphi

Coinciding with the first days the German Presidency of the European Council, on 3 July 2020 adelphi and the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel launched a new report “The Geopolitics of Decarbonisation: Reshaping European Foreign Relations”. This summary highlights the event's key outcomes.

Gender
South America
Central America & Caribbean
Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Igarapé Institute

​Women in the region suffer disproportionately from climate impacts, but they also play an essential role in addressing climate change. With the right policy responses, it is possible to reduce security risks and empower women to better address the challenges they face.

The impact of climate change is posing a growing threat to peace and security. Germany is therefore putting climate and security on the Security Council’s agenda.