Climate change can aggravate or generate conflict potential. Avoiding climate change must hence continue to be a top political priority. Yet, the security implications of climate change require an operationalisation of preemptive approaches to climate security, which must be anchored in political institutions and processes.
This is precisely what the initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office on climate change and security aims for. Its concrete objectives are to advance related processes at the UN level, to build regional capacities, and to create and strengthen networks. To this end, it is envisaged to foster the exchange of information, and to bring security implications of climate change to the attention of leaders and policy-makers particularly from developing countries and emerging economies. Implementation will hence take place on the bilateral, regional, and global level alike.
- Activities in the context of the UN Security Council
As a crucial part of the initiative, Germany aims to utilize its current membership in the UN Security Council to increase the body’s attention to the security implications of climate change. The activities will also serve to build networks and to share experiences, with the overarching goal of strengthening capacities to tackle climate change. Most importantly, a debate on the topic is set to take place in the Security Council on 20 July 2011. In preparation, Germany convened policy makers and researchers from around the world at a conference in New York in May 2011, organized jointly with the Portuguese embassy. Participants discussed the need for action as well as possible political strategies. Moreover, there will be a follow-up conference in Berlin in October 2011. Please find further information on these activities in the table below.
- Regional Dialogues
In order to build capacities in climate sensitive regions, the initiative includes regional dialogues meant to foster south-south networks and to facilitate the sharing of experiences. Respective dialogues take place in India on water related topics, in Colombia on climate change implications in the Andes, and in South Africa on the numerous challenges climate change poses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Please find further information on these dialogues in the table below.
- Climate Security Dialogues
As part of the initiative, the Federal Foreign Office organizes a series of Climate Security Dialogues. It consists of a number of expert talks taking place in Berlin. They present an opportunity for policy-makers and experts to discuss regional implications of climate change, with an emphasis on security aspects. These talks aim to not only inform policy makers about scientific findings and to sensitize them to related challenges, but also to build capacities, to fathom potential for regional cooperation, and to strengthen regional networks. The focus regions in this series are the southern Mediterranean, Central Asia, South Asia, as well as Central America and the Caribbean. The workshops are organized by Adelphi in cooperation with the research group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC) and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) of Hamburg University. Please find further information on the talks in the table below.
|Climate Security Dialogue
|30 May 2011|
||20 June 2011
|Central America and Caribbean
||30 September 2011||NA||NA|
|South Asia||21 November 2011||NA||NA|
» For an overview of the different political dimensions of climate change and international security, please see here.