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General Middendorp: Don’t leave climate to the environment ministers

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General Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (Ret)

In a new Op-ed in Politico, General Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (Ret), and current Chair of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (of which the Center for Climate and Security serves as Secretariat), puts a twist on Georges Clemenceau’s famous saying that “war is too important to be left to the generals,” with “don’t leave climate to the environment ministers.” In it, he encourages the European Commission’s President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen (who will take office on November 1), to continue her track record of taking climate security risks seriously during her tenure. To explain, he states: (more…)

EU Defense Ministers to Address Climate Change in Helsinki

EU Defence Ministers MeetingWatch this Space: From August 28-29, EU defense ministers (the ministers of defense from each of the EU nations), will meet to discuss “new technologies and the changing world,” and “the effect of climate change on defence and security” will be a major part of the agenda, along with other rapid changes affecting the operational landscape of EU militaries, such as artificial intelligence. The meeting is being hosted in Helsinki by Finland, who currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the EU governing body made up of government ministers of the EU’s member states), and will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Climate change will be discussed at the meeting’s first working session on Thursday, August 29. Click here for the announcement, and stay tuned for a readout of the meeting (wherein there will be no consistency in how defense…defence…is spelled).

EU Security and Military Community Considers Climate Security Issues

Louise Van Schaik_General Graziano_General Middendorp

Chairman of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS), General Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (Ret), and Louise van Schaik, Senior Member of the IMCCS Executive Committee, meet with the Chairman of the EU Military Committee, General Claudio Graziano, about climate change-related security issues.

This article is a cross-post from the Planetary Security Initiative on May 16, 2019.

This week climate-related security issues were prominently discussed in Brussels. Luxembourg Minister of Defense François Bausch addressed the topic in a meeting with his counterparts in the Foreign Affairs Council. This Council, which is composed of Ministers from EU Member States, brought together Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense in a so-called joined session format. They were joined by their counterparts from the G5 Sahel and its Secretary General. The EU reiterated its commitment to the region and its willingness to increase its engagement in the future. Defense Minister Bausch stressed that the deployment of soldiers alone could not provide a durable solution and that other means of crisis management are necessary and have come rather short in the past. Later in the afternoon the minister briefed the Council about the catastrophic consequences of climate change and its implications for security and defense policy. The Sahel is a region which is highly vulnerable and security impacts related to climate change are already visible, as is also outlined in various PSI activities on Mali, Lake Chad and other parts of the Sahel. The Minister from Luxembourg proposed placing climate-security on the official agenda of the Defence Ministers meeting in the EU Council to consolidate the European commitment to this topic. (more…)

The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 13 with Louise Van Schaik

Louise Van Schaik_CCS Podcast_Episode 13Welcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!

In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty talks to Louise Van Schaik, Head of the Clingendael International Sustainability Centre at the Clingendael Institute and Senior Member of the Executive Committee of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). Louise discusses the relationship between climate change, security and migration from a European perspective. She describes the evolution of the Planetary Security Initiative and how it had worked to help reduce and reverse security risks associated with climate change. She emphasizes the importance of identifying and undertaking climate adaptation actions for the purpose of conflict prevention and peace building efforts. Check out the incredible examples Louise provides in this episode!

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RELEASE: At Critical Juncture for the EU, Experts Unveil “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare” Framework for Climate and Security

Europes Responsibility to Prepare_Cover ImageRELEASE: At a Critical Juncture for the EU, Experts Unveil “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare (R2 Prepare)” Framework for Managing Security Risks of Climate Change

Brussels, Belgium – In advance of a critical meeting of European Union (EU) security leaders on June 22, which marks the 10th anniversary of the EU’s landmark report on climate change and security, two leading think tanks have released a report outlining a new framework for the European Union to transform its response to the security risks of climate change.

In “Europe’s Responsibility to Prepare: Managing Climate Security Risks in a Changing World”, the Center for Climate and Security (based in Washington, DC) and the Clingendael Institute (based in The Hague) argue that the security threats of climate change should be more routinely integrated into EU institutions at a senior level and be elevated alongside other ‘traditional’ security issues like terrorism and nuclear threats. As the EU’s conflict prevention mechanisms are making progress in better-addressing climate risks, the report gives detailed recommendations on what a response scaled to the threat of climate change across EU bodies could look like. (more…)

EU Foreign Affairs Council Releases Conclusion on Climate Diplomacy

European flags in front of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, Photo by Elwood j blues

European flags in front of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, Photo by Elwood j blues

The European Union Council just released a new “conclusion” on climate diplomacy. It follows on the heels of prior conclusions in July of 2011 and June of 2013, as well as recent discussions held around the report commissioned by the G7 on climate fragility, and an “Arria-formula” discussion at the UN Security Council on the same topic. (more…)

UK to Integrate Climate Change Into Military Planning

800px-Rt_Hon_Edward_Davey_MP,_Secretary_of_State_for_Energy_and_Climate_Change,_UK_(7555125784)UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, announced at a Green Growth Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels that the UK would be integrating climate risks into its military planning, stating that:

The expected impacts of climate change will be integrated into the UK’s next strategic defence and security review, expected next summer, just before the Paris conference.

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