The G20 is at a crossroads. Since its inception, the exclusive group has had the chief objective of avoiding a new financial crisis. But a looming crisis of a different nature could now threaten international stability just as much: climate change, a risk factor deeply intertwined with other hazards such as slow growth and rising inequality.
Since the Uri army base attack on 18 September 2016, in which 17 Indian soldiers were killed (called the “deadliest attack on the security forces in Kashmir in two decades”), relations between India and Pakistan have been at an all-time low. While India has provided ample evidence to establish the origin of the attack as Pakistan, the latter continues to be in denial. India has been on a diplomatic and political offensive ever since – attempting to isolate Pakistan globally, carrying out surgical strikes against “launch pads” for terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC) and re-examining some of the existing bilateral treaties, one of them being the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
In a totally different but connected case, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been forced to keep on hold a big project meant to reduce the risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) in northern Pakistan, which also includes disputed territory of Gilgit-Baltistan – mainly due to objections raised by India.
Large-scale efforts are being undertaken to address the challenges of improving energy access and of climate change adaptation. Author Dr. Vigya Sharma argues that too little thought is given to identifying links between the two, and that tackling poverty and impacts from climate change in an integrated way stregthens our chances of achieving both objectives.
How to deal with the impact of climate change on peace and stability? What are the key climate-fragility risks to development in Africa and how can integrated policy responses be designed and implemented? Two side events at COP22 discussed entry points for addressing climate-security risks on the ground.
Last month, our author Dr Vigya Sharma visited Colombo to speak at the 5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum. In her report, she highlights some takeaways from the conference to which more than 1,000 representatives from across science, policy, national to local governments, multilateral donor agencies and various arms of the United Nations came together.
“We strive to lead.”
Vulnerable countries urgently need predictable support, funding that will offer countless health, economic and development co-benefits of cleaner energy sources writes Ambassador Janine Felson, the Deputy Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Belize to the United Nations.
Chinese scientists call for countries to work together to reduce emissions of black carbon which is causing glaciers to retreat on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, reports Liu Qin.
Evidence is increasing that climate change is taking the largest toll on poor and vulnerable people, and these impacts are largely caused by inequalities that increase the risks from climate hazards, according to a new report launched by the United Nations today.
The Nile River is shared by 11 countries, for which it is vital for food and energy production, freshwater, and as a means of transportation. Sharing the resources of the Nile has, however, been politically difficult. Recently, the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has caused a major dispute with downstream Egypt which fears the dam will affect water flow in its own territory.