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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…)

VIDEO and Summary: UN Security Council Meeting on Climate and Security

Werrell_UNSC

Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security, briefs the UN Security Council on a Responsibility to Prepare agenda, December 15, 2017

On December 15, 2017, the UN Security Council (UNSC) hosted an “Arria” meeting titled ‘Preparing for the security implications of rising temperatures.’ Click here for a full video of the event, and here for a backgrounder. As noted in a previous post, the meeting was chaired by Italy, and co-hosted with Sweden, Morocco, the UK, the Netherlands, Peru, Japan, France, the Maldives and Germany. Briefers included Halbe Zijlstra, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Caitlin Werrell, Co-founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS). Caitlin Werrell, at the invitation of the meeting’s co-hosts, presented a Responsibility to Prepare agenda framework for elevating international attention to the security implications of climate change in an age of unprecedented risk and unprecedented foresight (read her prepared remarks here). (more…)

Event: UN Security Council Meeting on Climate and Security

UN_security_council_2005The UN Security Council (UNSC) is hosting an “Arria” meeting today titled ‘Preparing for the security implications of rising temperatures.’ Click here for the livestream at 3pm EST, and here for the official announcement. The meeting, co-hosted by Italy, Sweden, Morocco, the UK, the Netherlands, Peru, Japan, France, the Maldives and Germany, aims to facilitate a practical discussion about the tools the UN requires to address the security implications of climate change. Briefers for the meeting include Halbe Zijlstra, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Caitlin Werrell, Co-founder and President of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS). Caitlin Werrell, at the invitation of the meeting’s co-hosts, will be presenting its Responsibility to Prepare agenda framework for elevating international attention to the security implications of climate change. The framework calls for the climate-proofing of all security institutions at international, regional and national levels. (more…)

A Responsibility to Prepare: Governing in an Age of Unprecedented Risk and Foresight

UN_security_council_2005Report summary: The world in the 21st century is characterized by both unprecedented risk and unprecedented foresight. Climate change, population shifts and cyber-threats are rapidly increasing the scale and complexity of risks to international security, while technological developments are increasing our capacity to foresee those risks. This world of high consequence risks, which can be better modeled and anticipated than in the past, underscores a clear responsibility for the international community: A “Responsibility to Prepare.” This responsibility, which builds on hard-won lessons of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) framework for preventing and responding to mass atrocities, requires a reform of existing governance institutions to ensure that critical, nontraditional risks to international security, such as climate change, are anticipated, analyzed and addressed systematically, robustly and rapidly by intergovernmental security institutions and the security establishments of nations that participate in that system. For more, see the Responsibility to Prepare page, including the full report.

Ukraine, Germany, Sweden Urge UN Security Council to Address Climate Change Threat

UN_security_council_2005By Neil Bhatiya, Climate and Diplomacy Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

Last month, the United Nations Security Council held the latest in what has become a series of Arria formula meetings on climate change and security. These informal consultations allow Security Council members to discuss issues threatening international peace and security without putting the full diplomatic weight of the Council behind a specific course of action, or obligating individual member-states to endorse specific statements issued by the Security Council on an issue which may be sensitive to their national interests. Ukraine, with the assistance of Germany, convened this particular meeting, with a specific emphasis on sea-level rise as a threat to international peace and security, a theme Janani Vivekananda and I explored in a CCS briefer on climate change and megacities.   (more…)