In this interview, Peter Fischer from the German Federal Foreign Office, reports how the G7 integrate climate into their analysis of future conflicts, fragility and instability. Taking a critical stance, he stresses that one has to consider the full conflict cycle and possible priorities for future G7 activities related to climate and security.
This interview was conducted at the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, 5-6 December 2016.
"We have a G7 working group on climate and fragility, it is the G7 foreign ministries that operate this group and we started this process in 2013 already and in 2015/2016 we delivered a report to the G7 foreign ministers on the nexus between climate, fragility, stability, and security and the report says clearly that there is a nexus, that climate change is a risk multiplier, all the arguments that you know and that have been mentioned at this conference.
In 2016 this year we got a two year mandate to try to make some practical progress and to report back to the G7 foreign ministers and what we are trying to do is look at the full conflict cycle where we say at the beginning we have predictive tools – which instruments do we use to look into the future and how do they integrate climate into the analysis of future situations of fragility and instability and security threats.
I think it is fair to say that this integration is not yet done well enough and we need to improve and so we try to learn from each other and we will see what we can learn from each other, what progress we can make there and then we need to look at the full conflict cycle, look at the different tools or the different policy instruments that the G7 countries use vis-à-vis regions or situations of fragility.
There is environmental policies to fight against environmental degradation, there is developmental policies to deal with the situations of environmental degradation caused by climate change to provide people other sources of employment.
Then we have the classic diplomatic tools – when there is a crisis that is already at hand, a loss of stability – mediation, peace building. All that needs to consider climate aspects. If you build a peace in a way that does not consider climate results, your peace building may not be stable, either. And at the end there is also hard security issues: policing and military issues.
I hope that in the future we will integrate our risk assessments but that we will also take one or two kinds of demonstration projects; that we look at a particular area, in my view it is best to look at a particular region, and really see what instruments are we 7 deploying. Do they fit together well? Is there something we can do to increase their collective effectiveness and coherence and can we learn through that process?
My personal favorite is Lake Chad.”