International Conference

 Enhancing Climate Diplomacy in a Changing Political Environment” 

New Opportunities for Cooperation among International Organisations

on Climatic Threats to

International, National, Human and Environmental Security 

Brussels - 20 November 2017

The purpose of the conference is to highlight action by regional and international intergovernmental bodies and seek opportunities for increased cooperation between and among them to enhance climate diplomacy as a means to address climatic threats to international, national, human and environmental security.

BACKGROUND

 The UNFCCC Paris Agreement in December 2015 was seen as altering the rules of engagement on climate change which should lead to a new kind of multilateralism and real progress in reducing the threats posed by climate change. At the time, the year 2016 was seen as the year of 'mainstreaming' climate change issues. The UNFCCC, through the binding reporting requirements of COP21 has developed a rhythm which can be continued and which should be relevant in the wider context of issues such as famine, migration and terrorism.

But 2016 was also a year of a changing political landscape with continuing uncertainty about how such developments would affect the progress and hopes for the world to effectively address climate change now and in the future.  

Meanwhile, we are also witnessing many on-going, strengthened and new efforts on the part of sub-national actors, local authorities, the business community, the security sector and citizens taking action to slow the pace of climate change and lessen its impact on societies.   

In the informal meetings of the Brussels Dialogue on Climate Diplomacy participants have recognised the importance of communicating the grand sum of many small actions. Every new decision taken on infrastructure, security, energy, etc. has an impact on climate and needs to be seen as such. Participants have also reinforced the belief that expert spokespersons from the security community can add credibility in bringing climate change issues to the public especially because of the important role the military and security sector can play in risk analysis, responding to natural disasters and in reducing their own environmental impact.

More recognition also needs to be given to the role of international and intergovernmental organisations engaged in the wider interdependent environment, development and security issues impacted by climate change and the international community needs to give its full support to ongoing and new opportunities for cooperation among these organisations. Interdependent problems require interdependent solutions.

The purpose of the conference is to highlight action by regional and international intergovernmental bodies and seek opportunities for increased cooperation between and among them to enhance climate diplomacy as a means to address climatic threats to international, national, human and environmental security.

12:15 - 13:00       Session 3: Presentations of Featured International Initiatives

Moderator:  Ms Esra Buttanri, Head of Environmental Co-operation Unit, Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE

·         Presentation on EU-UN Environment Action on Climate Security: The project is designed as a response to the recommendations of the ‘A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate Fragility Risks’ report commissioned by the Group of 7. It is one of the first initiatives to take concrete action on climate - fragility risks at country and community levels. Implemented by UN Environment and adelphi, the project specifically addresses the destabilizing effects of climate change in crisis - affected states. The intervention will outline the objectives and methodology of the project, and draw on initial findings from Nepal and Sudan to illustrate the nature of the complex challenges which the project aims to tackle.  

by Dr Asif Ali Zaidi, Senior Advisor, Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch, UN Environment

 

Presentation on the 3rd Planetary Security Initiative Conference: From Analysis to Action – The Hague, 12-13 December: The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the PSI in 2015. Now operated by a consortium of leading think tanks, the objectives of the PSI are to:

-          Enhance political awareness and involvement on the climate-security interface;

-          Strengthen the knowledge-policy interface by consolidating an inclusive community of practice that is multi-lateral, multi-sector and multi-disciplinary;

-          Develop and promote policies and good practice to help governments, the private sector and implementing agencies better secure peace and cooperation in regions adversely affected by climate change; and

-          Create a regular platform for international cooperation on planetary security.

This year’s conference aims to strengthen the knowledge-policy interface by consolidating the community of practice on planetary security.

by Ms Carola van Rijnsoever, Director Inclusive Green Growth, Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Ambassador for the Arctic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands / Former Representative of the Netherlands to the EU Political and Security Committee -PSC

Presentation previewing ‘Resource Watch’In addition to the World Resources Institute’s online Climate Watch (focused on climate change and emissions) and its International Climate Action Initiative (which uses analysis, innovation and partnerships to achieve effective national policies and ambitious, equitable international climate action), WRI is set to launch Resource Watch allowing users to correlate emissions with impacts such as water scarcity, soil degradation, and deforestation as well as the effects on migration, poverty, gender equality, and political unrest. The new service combines data sets from NASA, UN, WB, WMO and many others connecting bio-physical change with socio-economic consequences illustrating multi-dimensional challenges to security within and between countries.

by Ms Kitty van der Heijden, Director, Europe and Africa, World Resources Institute – WRI

Discussion

13:00 - 14:00       Lunch

15:45 - 17:00       Session 5: Enhancing the Role of the Security Community in Climate Diplomacy

Panel Moderator: Mr Alexander Verbeek, Founder, Institute for Planetary Security / Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute / Former Strategic Policy Advisor, Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

Opening question to connect to the previous session:

With their risk analyses and importance in foreign policy making, actors of the security community (i.e. Ministries of Defence) seem to qualify very well for mainstreaming environmental security issues across other sectors. What do you think about this? Where do you see room for the security community to contribute to bringing the topic on top of the agenda?

Dependent on answers to the opening question, the discussion should be taken forward by firstly asking what steps have already been taken by the security community to adapt to the nexus of climate change and security? Secondly, what are the current obstacles which security actors have encountered in taking forward their initiatives and what would they specifically need to do to go beyond existing efforts? This latter question would relate back to session 4, which is why the discussion should be directed towards the question if a UN Security Council resolution is needed.

What would be the added value of a Security Council resolution? How could a resolution impact the security community, given the experience with Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security? Considering that climate diplomacy builds upon the interdependency between development, environment, climate, and security issues, working on climate security will require new forms of cooperation. The EU for instance has just brought forward the so-called Capacity Building for Security and Development, which allows for providing support to partner countries by making use of development funds to build military capability in the interest of sustainable development. What is the experience of the participants with a security background in working together with representatives from climate and development sectors? Would an SCR allow for new forms of cooperation between international organisations?

Lieutenant General Tariq Waseem Ghazi (Ret), Former Defense Secretary, Government of Pakistan / Member, Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change - GMACCC

Mr Marc Giacomini , Director, Deputy Managing Director Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues, European External Action Service – EEAS

Mr Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

Ambassador Vuk Žugić, Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE

Discussion

17:00 - 17:15       Session 6: Closing of the Conference

Conclusions and Closing Remarks - Mr Alexander Verbeek, Founder, Institute for Planetary Security / Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute / Former Strategic Policy Advisor, Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

Follow-up by the Brussels Dialogue on Climate DiplomacyMr Ronald A. Kingham, Director, Environment & Development Resource Centre  - EDRC / Programme Coordinator, Institute for Planetary Security / Senior Advisor and Brussels Liaison, Institute for Environmental Security - IES

17:15 - 18:00       Reception

Hosted by the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU

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PROGRAMME       

09:00 - 09:30       Arrival of Participants / Registration / Welcome Coffee

09:30 – 11:00      Session 1: Opening of the Conference

Moderator: Mr Alexander Verbeek, Founder, Institute for Planetary Security / Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute / Former Strategic Policy Advisor, Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

Welcome by Mr Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant Secretary General - Sustainable Economic Development and Trade, African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States

Opening Remarks by Mr Jörgen Talkop, Counsellor for Environmental Affairs, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU

Presentation by Ms Elina Bardram, Head of Unit, International and Inter-Institutional Relations, DG Climate Action, European Commission / Chief EU Negotiator, COP23

Presentation by Mr Andrew Light, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Global Climate Program, World Resources Institute - WRI / Former Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change

Discussion

11:00 - 11:30       Coffee Break

11:30 - 12:15       Session 2: Assessing the Risks of Climate Change and Promoting Regional Cooperation for Peace in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

Moderator: Mr Wouter Veening, President, Institute for Environmental Security – IES

Africa: H.E. Johnson Weru, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to the EU / Chair, Sub-Committee for Sustainable Development, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States -ACP

Caribbean: Ms. Sharlene Shillingford- Mcklmon, Chargé d’ Affaires, Embassies of the Eastern Caribbean States and Missions to the European Union

Pacific:  Admiral Chris Barrie, AC, RAN (ret), Honorary Professor, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre,

Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs, Australian National University / Former Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), Australia

Discussion

 

14:00 - 15:15       Session 4: Enhancing the Role of International Organisations in Climate Diplomacy

Panel Moderator: Mr Alexander Verbeek, Founder, Institute for Planetary Security / Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute / Former Strategic Policy Advisor, Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

To address the complex challenge of climate change international organisations need strong leadership and capacities, but are also to some extent dependent upon the input and the initiative from their Member States and their administrative apparatus. This discussion can explore the role of the various actors that drive the leading international organisations addressing climate change today, be it the United Nations Secretary-General, European Commissioners or Parliamentarians, NGO leadership or individual member states: Who are the main actors? Do these actors have a genuine interest in addressing the issue? What are their tools and what is their leverage?

Think tanks and researchers are an important piece of this puzzle. Without the expertise from researchers the topic will only be addressed superficially. Efficient policy initiatives need proper background information. So secondly, the discussion should address questions such as: Can cooperation between think tanks and international organisations “start the engine”? What are the lessons learned from the successful climate diplomacy and alliances between European and Asian states that led to the Paris agreement, and can they be applied in other contexts, such as UN reform? What is needed to address the issue more promptly and streamline it into policy making?

Lastly, in order to address the issue efficiently, addressing climate change has shown that it needs permanent structures to make real progress. Should therefore (existing) initiatives on climate security be institutionalised? Which are the international organisations / agencies that qualify for that? Would this require organisational changes within the administrative architecture of international organisations?

Dr Niklas Bremberg, Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Mr Ernst Peter Fischer, Deputy Director-General for Globalisation, Energy and Climate Policy, Federal Foreign Office, Germany

Mr Jo Leinen , Member of the European Parliament, Germany / Member, GLOBE EU

Ms Kitty van der Heijden, Director, Europe and Africa, World Resources Institute – WRI

Discussion                                                                                          

15:15 - 15:45       Coffee Break

 

 

Organised by
Environment & Development Recourse Centre (EDRC)
Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment - European Union (GLOBE EU)
Institute for Planetary Security (IPS) and
World Resources Institute (WRI)
 
for the
Brussels Dialogue on Climate Diplomacy (BDCD)
 
in association with the
African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP)
European Commission: DG Climate Action
European External Action Service (EEAS)
Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC)
Heinrich Böll Stiftung – European Union
Institute for Environmental Security (IES)
NATO: Emerging Security Challenges Division (ESCD)
Office of the Coordinator OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities
UN Environment (UNEP)
UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security (UNLOPS)
 
with the support of
Federal Foreign Office of Germany
IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands (IUCN NL)
Planetary Security Initiative (PSI)
Heinrich Böll Stiftung - Pakistan
 
and under the auspices of the
Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU