It is not news that Twitter, for better or worse, has reached a new level of prominence in the political dialogue. As part of this new landscape, The Atlantic Council hosted a virtual “Twitter Town Hall on Nordic Contributions to Global Security” where people could submit questions directly to five Nordic country ambassadors to the US: Karin Olfsdotter of Sweden, Geir H. Haarde of Iceland, Kåre R. Aas of Norwary, Lars Gert Lose of Denmark, and Kirsti Kauppi of Finland. The Center for Climate and Security took the opportunity to ask the ambassadors a question on climate and security (naturally), and the ambassadors responded. The climate and security portion of the discussion is copied below, and the full town hall discussion is available on Twitter at #AskNordicAmbs. Thank you to the Atlantic Council and the ambassadors for the opportunity.
The Center for Climate and Security (@CntrClimSec) asked “How are you factoring climate change into your security assessments?”
– Karin Olofsdotter (@OlofsdotterK), Ambassador of Sweden to the US, responded “Sweden certainly does! Climate change can lead not only to human suffering but also fuel conflicts that demand common response #AskNordicAmbs”
– Kåre R. Aas (@kareraas), Ambassador of Norway to the US, responded “#ClimateChange is an increased international challenge also with security implications. As seen on refugee flows, economic disparities and relocation of military capabilities”
– Lars Gert Lose (@DKambUSA), Ambassador of Denmark to the US, responded “The changing climate affect the lives of many and constitutes a risk for our security. Denmark is a frontrunner on climate adaptation, but we need the rest of the international community as well. #ParisAgreement #COP23 #DKgreen #AskNordicAmbs”
– The Embassy of Denmark (@DenmarkinUSA) followed up with “In 2030, Denmark aims for renewables to cover at least half of our total energy consumption. By 2050, we aim to be independent of fossil fuels.”
The Atlantic Council (@AtlanticCouncil) asked: “What do the Nordic nations think are the greatest threats to international peace and security? #AskNordicAmbs”
– Geir H. Haarde (@GHaarde), Ambassador of Iceland to the US, responded “Climate change, threats to territorial integrity and terrorist threats from non-state actors #AskNordicAmbs”
– Karin Olofsdotter (@OlofsdotterK), Ambassador of Sweden to the US, responded “Climate change, disrespect for international law and human rights, WMD proliferation, totalitarianism and terrorism #AskNordicAmbs”
Not surprisingly, there were also a number of questions about the Arctic. The Atlantic Council (@AtlanticCouncil), asked “Russia is increasing its presence in the Arctic—what is your response?” Climate change factored into a number of the responses.
– Kirsti Kauppi (@KirstiKauppi), Ambassador of Finland to the US, responded, “We should have common interest to keep Arctic a region of low tension because we have shared interests, including related to environmental security. In addition we need cooperation in order to fight & mitigate #ClimateChange. Finland chair @ArcticCouncil #FIArctic #AskNordicAMBs”
– Geir H. Haarde (@GHaarde), Ambassador of Iceland to the US, responded, “We need to engage Russia in further dialogue e.g. @ArcticCouncil on Arctic issues such as the environment, economic development, social change, security and the use of natural resources. Good cooperation vital! #AskNordicAmbs”
– Lars Gert Lose (@DKambUSA), Ambassador of Denmark to the US, responded, The #Arctic. As the ice melts, important to manage changes, both security related and economic. Important that the Arctic remains a non-conflict area. #AskNordicAmbs”