With COP22 approaching, climate change is acknowledged as one of the most critical development challenges of our time, posing an even existential threat to the world as we know it. Increasingly, climate change is also perceived as a ”threat multiplier”, with the potential to amplify already existing security risks, such as resource conflicts, large-scale displacement and food insecurity. Although the Paris Agreement has now entered into force, aimed at keeping global warming to 1,5 degrees, many scientists warn that we might have missed that target already and be headed towards 2 degrees warming or more.
When negotiators meet in Marrakesh in November, the main focus will be the implementation of the Paris Agreement, i.e. the mitigation and adaptation measures pledged by member states, and the financing of those. At the same time, an increasing number of member states are beginning to incorporate climate change into their national security policies, indicating that they may prepare for a possible failure of the agreement. Indeed, the World Economic Forum, in their ”Global Risk Report 2016”, identified a failure to implement the Paris agreement as the most impactful risk right now, and the second most likely.
In this seminar, we looked at the security dimensions of climate change and discussed how these can be addressed in a holistic manner. To what extent will security concerns inform the discussions at COP22? How helpful is the securitisation of the climate change debate in generating political momentum and mobilising resources for swift climate action? How do UN Country Teams address the security dimensions of climate change, in development as well as peace-building and peace-keeping contexts? How could the UN Security Council incorporate climate change in their agenda and strengthen both the prevention and the response to climate change related security threats?
- Joe Scheuer, Director of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
- Lars Ronnås, Ambassador for Climate, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- Malin Mobjörk, Senior Researcher in Security and Development, SIPRI
- Jakob Lundberg, Head of Policy and Advocacy, We Effect
The discussion was moderated by Henrik Hammargren, Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.
The event forms part of the seminar series “Implementing Agenda 2030”, jointly organised by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and UNDP Sweden. The Paris Agreement is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda through Goal 13 on Climate Action.