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  Newsletter Issue 04/2019  
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  In Focus: Climate Diplomacy 

It's not just energy - The multi-layered nature of decarbonisation

Two events in August 2019 underlined the complexity of paving the way to a climate-neutral world: the publishing of the new IPCC report and the Amazon fires. Both events demand that climate diplomats move beyond a narrowed focus on energy in decarbonisation debates. First, the IPCC landmark report stresses that it will not be possible to keep global warming at safe levels unless there is a transformation in food production and land management, given that agriculture, forestry and other land use account for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Among the action areas are the restoration of peat lands and the need for drastic reductions of meat consumption. Secondly, the political disputes between Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and the EU regarding the Amazon further underline the need for better climate diplomacy, and quite literally looking at what is actually on the plate...

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Climate Change

A double-edged sword: The climate politics of the Mercosur-EU Agreement

If ratified, the Mercosur-EU trade deal may reinforce the parties' commitment to climate action. Yet, its potential relevance is weakened by fluffy language, as well as political resistance. With Brazilian cattle production being the biggest driver of deforestation in the Amazon, the EU and consumers must stand firm and strengthen their climate commitments with concrete measures.

Climate Diplomacy

When agendas align - The SDG Summit and ‘Sustainable Foreign Policy’

Global progress towards achieving the SDGs is slow, and for many targets, off track. While SDG implementation is primarily a national task and responsibility, it also requires concerted international cooperation. This article presents two arguments why foreign policy could play an important role in their achievement.

Adaptation & Resilience

Managing climate and disaster risk in fragile states

No country is immune to natural hazards, but for fragile states, the effects are even more severe. Mostly, conflict prevention and humanitarian aid are seen as more pressing priorities to protect livelihoods there. This pushes efforts of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction to the bottom of the priority list and results in compounded pressures.



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Why has climate change adaptation become more important than ever in India?

As India grapples with the worsening impacts of climate change, the need to strengthen its adaptation efforts has become more significant than ever. Climate diplomacy and mainstreaming climate adaptation into the most vulnerable sectors could provide some solutions to overcoming barriers, such as the lack of sustainable funding.   

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Middle East & North Africa 

"We can't disengage from our shared environment" – Interview with Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli EcoPeace directors 

Without electricity, Gaza is unable to treat its sewage water. This has already led to the closure of one of Israel's key desalination plants, which uses water from the Mediterranean Sea. In Jordan, recurring droughts and the influx of refugees have resulted in a water crisis with regional spillover effects. Such examples create a clear message: climate and environment know no borders. In this interview, the EcoPeace directors explain why disengaging from a shared environment can aggravate the region's security challenges.

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24 - 25 September 2019, New York City, USA

SDG Summit 

The UN Secretary-General will host a landmark summit on climate change on 23 September 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York with the aim to increase ambition. That same week, on 24 and 25 September, heads of state and government will gather to follow up on and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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24 September - 6 October 2019, Global

2nd Climate Diplomacy Week 2019

From 24 September to 6 October 2019, EU embassies around the world celebrate the 2nd Climate Diplomacy Week by reaching out to communities and partner organisations, highlighting positive global action and collaboration on climate change. Several events will take place to bring focus to climate action in the EU and beyond.

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23 - 25 October 2019, Irvine, California, USA 

First International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding

In October 2019 the Environmental Peacebuilding Association will host the First International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding at the University of California. The conference will bring together academics, practitioners, and decision-makers to examine the links between environment, conflict, and peace.

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With the right tools, water can become a source for peacebuilding – Susanne Schmeier, IHE Delft

What if water – a resource that is at the centre of many local and regional conflicts – could be utilised for fostering peace? The 'Water, Peace and Security Partnership' seeks to leverage this potential. Dr. Susanne Schmeier, IHE Delft, explains how the partnership emerged and what governments and organisations have created so far.  

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News on the Lake Chad crisis – Interview with Mohammed Bila, Lake Chad Basin Commission

The issues that afflict the Lake Chad basin cross sectors and national borders – and so should their solutions. Mohammed Bila from the Lake Chad Basin Commission gives an overview of the main political developments in the last two years. He stresses that there is much to be done by local actors in responding to emergencies, but that the international community has a central role to play in breaking the climate conflict trap.

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  New Publications

Berlin Climate and Security Conference - Summary

Hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office in partnership with adelphi and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Berlin Climate and Security Conference brought together 250 leading figures from public and private sectors, civil society, and the scientific community to discuss the risks that climate change presents for peace and security. It highlighted that the climate crisis threatens global peace and prosperity, and stressed the need for quick and decisive action to prevent and minimise climate-related conflict and instability.

Strengthening international cooperation for a global energy transition

International cooperation in support of a global energy transition is on the rise. Initiatives and fora for multilateral cooperation are complemented by growing bilateral engagement to foster international lesson-drawing and exchange. Despite these promising developments, investment towards achieving SDG 7 on clean and affordable energy is insufficient. This IASS Policy Brief discusses how international cooperation can support a global energy transition.


Beyond rhetoric: Why foreign policy needs to foster private sector SDG implementation

From conflict prevention to human rights protection – companies are vital for the success of the 2030 Agenda and foreign policy alike. But progress on SDG implementation in the business world is at a turning point. Foreign policy can and must play a decisive role by building a robust knowledge base, making use of economic diplomacy tools, and bringing trade and foreign direct investment in line with the SDGs.   
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The newsletter is supported by a grant from the German Federal Foreign Office.

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Publisher: Dennis Tänzler
adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH
Alt-Moabit 91
D - 10559 Berlin Germany
Phone +49-30-89 000 68 0
Fax +49-30-89 000 68 10

Editorial team:
Alexander Carius, Daria Ivleva, Raquel Munayer, Benjamin Pohl, Lukas Rüttinger, Liesa Sauerhammer, Stella Schaller, Katarina Schulz, Dennis Tänzler, Janani Vivekananda. Editing support: Adrian Foong and Lucas Plummer.

The newsletter is published by adelphi in cooperation with its partner organizations.

adelphi is a leading think tank for policy analysis and strategy consulting. We offer creative solutions and services on global environment and development challenges for policy, business and civil society communities. Our projects contribute to sustaining natural life systems and fostering sustainable enterprises.

The Manipal Advanced Research Group (MARG) was formed in early 2006. Given the wide variety of expertise available at Manipal University, this initiative seeks to establish synergies between fundamental research in the natural (physical) sciences and engineering. MARG has also launched the Science, Technology and Security Forum (STSf) website, which is intended to provide a platform to the larger strategic, academic, diplomatic and scientific community to participate in debates on matters impacting international security with a particular focus on Asia and, in particular, India.

The Igarapé Institute is an independent think and do tank devoted to evidence-based policy and action on complex security, justice and development challenges in Brazil, Latin America, and Africa. The Institute’s goal is to stimulate debate, foster connections and trigger action. The Institute has its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, with personnel spread across Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Established in 2011, it is supported by bilateral agencies, foundations, international organizations and private donors from around the world. 

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