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UN Security Council on Climate and Security from 2017-2019

UN_security_council_2005On January 25, 2019 the Dominican Republic, during its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC), hosted an “open debate” on climate change and security, which featured a number of important moments. The World Meteorological Organization publicly addressed the UNSC for the first time in its history, and a number of countries (among them France, the UK, Germany, Peru, Poland and Belgium) called for the UNSC to establish increased analytical capacities for addressing climate risks to international security, such as a “clearing house” for data and information, including an early warning system and an annual report on climate and security to be delivered by the UN secretary general to the UNSC. These calls were consistent with the Center for Climate and Security’s “Responsibility to Prepare” recommendations delivered to the UNSC in December 2017, especially those on “institutionalization” and “rapid response” which recommended that the UN develop “Climate Security Crisis Watch Centers” to keep the UNSC informed. (more…)

Two Days of Climate and Security Action in the UN Security Council and Japan

Joint disaster drill

Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka port operations department sailors onboard USS Puyallup, simulate delivering food, clothing, first aid kits to Japanese disaster workers. US Navy Photo By Joseph Schmitt

By Shiloh Fetzek, Sherri Goodman and John Conger

Within 24 hours of each other, three significant security events will take place in New York, Brussels and Tokyo. On July 11/12, Sweden leads a debate in the UN Security Council on climate and security, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs convenes a major conference on the same subject, and the NATO Summit begins in Brussels.

Climate change will be front and center at the first two of these, but likely not as front and center at the third.

The UN Security Council debate on July 11 is the culmination of two years of effort by Sweden to mainstream climate change into the work of the UN Security Council, making it fit for purpose in a climate-shaped security environment. Sweden managed to catalyze action and create significant momentum during their two-year term as a nonpermanent member of the Council, momentum which is likely to bridge the transition to new non-permanent members in 2019 – particularly Germany and Belgium. This follows on the Arria Formula Dialogue last December and almost a decade worth of work to address climate security risks at the UN Security Council. (more…)

The Developing Focus of the UN Security Council on Climate Security

UN_security_council_2005By Charlotte Ku and Shirley V. Scott

Just as the volume, Climate Change and the UN Security Council (Shirley V. Scott and Charlotte Ku, eds. Edward Elgar: 2018) was put to press, the United Nations Security Council held another in a series of Arria-formula meetings on climate security. The meeting was chaired by Italy and co-hosted with Sweden, Morocco, the UK, the Netherlands, Peru, Japan, France, the Maldives and Germany. The meeting was titled, “Preparing for the Security Implications of Rising Temperatures.” A key focus was on how the UN system might develop the capabilities to foresee the threats posed by climate events and to prepare appropriate responses such as risk assessment and risk management. The discussion included consideration of creating an institutional home for climate and security within the UN system. Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security participated in the meeting to outline the elements of a Responsibility to Prepare Agenda. (more…)

UN Security Council Statement on Climate and Security in Africa

UN_security_council_2005On January 30, the UN Security Council (UNSC) took another step forward in substantively addressing the security implications of climate change. The Presidential Statement, which builds on a series of recent actions by the UNSC (including a resolution last April on climate and security in the Lake Chad region and an Arria Dialogue in December on climate and security that featured the Center for Climate and Security’s Responsibility to Prepare framework) addresses the intersection of climate change and stability across West Africa and the Sahel – a wide swathe of the African continent that includes 26 countries. (more…)