Wrapped in a purple boubou (robe), Salou Moussa Maïga, 60, sits with his hands clasped between his knees and explains how climate change has fuelled violent conflict in Ansongo, Mali. As the president of a farming cooperative, he knows the cost of drought all too well. ‘The rain period has decreased considerably from years ago … we don’t have grass anymore,’ he told ISS Today. ‘Everything is naked.’
2015 was a historic year for international commitments to sustainable development, climate change action, and new kinds of peacebuilding. For governments and policymakers, now comes the difficult task of living up to those commitments.
Security concerns, like ISIS and a revanchist Russia, tend to dominate people’s attention, but less sensational challenges to stability and economic development are piling up as well, threatening to overwhelm humanitarian budgets and prompting governments to shift funding from development to emergency aid.
Intensive international cooperation is a key prerequisite for successful and ambitious global climate action. Russia, one of the world’s top 5 greenhouse gas emitters and the second largest producer of crude oil and natural gas, has long been regarded as one of the major veto players in international climate politics. Nevertheless, during the last decade climate awareness among Russian policymakers and other relevant stakeholders has increased dramatically. This is illustrated by the fact that the updated Strategy of National Security of the Russian Federation refers to climate change as a threat to national and public security. The Paris Agreement gave the Russian climate policy a new strong impetus.
India, as one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to environmental change, is at the undeniable centre of various discourses relating to the impact of environmental changes on human security and conflicts driven, or exacerbated, by the exploitation of natural resources. India also has the potential to promote stability and peace through sustainable development and environmental cooperation. Integral to adelphi’s project – “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation” (ECC) – these issues have been dealt with at length on numerous occasions and on a host of platforms. As the ECC exhibition travelled to Manipal University (a university that commands a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats to the east) the primary focus has been to examine the realities on the ground realities and to integrate these into the larger national and international frameworks of climate diplomacy and environmental governance.
The signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement is an important opportunity for Europe to make the successful lessons from Paris into pillars of its diplomatic strategy. In June 2016, European Heads of State and Government will discuss a new “Global Strategy” on security and foreign policy. Delivering the Paris Agreement must be placed directly at its core if Europe wants to stay safe and prosperous.
At its 585th meeting on March 30 2016, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union held an open session on Climate Change: State fragility, peace and security in Africa. The debate reflected the collective acknowledgement that climate change, peace and security in Africa are inextricably linked, stressing the need for all AU Member States to further build national resilience capacities.
In his recent address at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile States conference on March 30 2016, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion spoke about the climate-security-nexus, stating that conflicts like the Syrian civil war may
During April 10 and11 2016, the G7 Foreign Ministers met at Hiroshima, Japan to discuss current international affairs in the run-up to the G7 Summit in May. In the final Joint Communiqué they once again took a strong stance on tackling climate-fragility risks collectively. They endorsed a quick entry into force of the Paris Agreement by all parties, while also emphasizing the role of the G7 in the prevention of climate fragility risks and the need to further consider these challenges as part of their foreign policies.