By joining up action – and funding – on climate change, conflict and poverty, the world’s biggest crises could get easier to manage.
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.
"If you think current conflicts are all-consuming, imagine what happens when we add food shortages, water shortages, stronger storms, longer droughts, steady rises in sea-levels, which are already being predicted, and entire countries swallowed by the sea. […] We don’t have to sit here and wait for this to happen. If we accelerate the transition towards clean energy solutions – we have the technology, we have the knowledge.”
Continued use of fossil fuels triggers increasingly permanent damage with regards to climate change. Yet, there is growing acknowledgment that fossil fuels remain hard to displace. What, then, can – or should – be done to address this ‘confronting paradox’? This question was at the heart of the talk by Professor Robert H Socolow of Princeton University, US visited the University of Queensland, Australia in February this year. The talk was attended by people with diverse interests – energy and mining industries, management consulting, academia and others.
On May 1st to 2nd 2016, the G7 Energy Ministers together with the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy met at Kitakyushu, Japan to discuss developments since their 2015 Hamburg meeting, especially against the background of volatile energy prices and the Paris Agreement.
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 this speech at the Climate Change and Security: Fragile State Conference, Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, points out the connections between climate change and fragility, drawing on specific country examples. He stresses the need for integrated actions and the potential of Canada.
Mission Innovation is an initiative by twenty leading countries to double their Research & Development budgets for clean energy innovation in the next five years. In this opinion piece, Johannes Ackva lays out why this new initiative is an essential complement to carbon-pricing and deployment policies and should receive far more attention in the future.
‘No challenge poses a greater threat to our future and future generations than a change in climate’. Thus spoke President Obama, and most Western leaders have done likewise. Yet as the security policy community descends on Munich for its annual conference, climate change is likely to be a sideshow, again, despite the global attention that climate change received in the context of December’s conference in Paris.