The then forthcoming G7 report "A New Climate for Peace" was highlighted and participants also listed several other suggestions for practical action by governments and international organisations to better analyse environmental risks and increase preparedness as well as to improve awareness building and public communication on these issues.
At the second meeting held at NATO HQ on 11 May 2017 participants highlighted the activities of their organisations and brainstormed together on how to increase public awareness and resolve within their institutions regarding the security threats posed by climate change especially in the light of uncertainty about how the U.S. will proceed regarding the Paris Agreement. The participants agreed to form a "core group" for the Brussels Dialogue which would meet 2 to 3 times per year.
The group also agreed on the importance of broadening the information exchange to also involve civil society engaged in awareness raising and policy research groups - as well as on the value of linking the Brussels Dialogue with meetings of The Hague Roundtable on Climate and Security and with the annual conferences of the Planetary Security Initiative.
The 2017 Conference and Beyound
The third meeting was held on 28 June 2017 at the ACP Secretariat where participants began preparations for the conference on climate diplomacy which was held there on 20 November and involving a wider constituency of other organisations, governments, NGOs, think-tanks, enterprises and the media. The Core Group held its fourth meeting at the UNEP Brussels Liaison Office on 18 September and the 5th session will be in March 2018 at the offices of the NATO-Parliamentary Assembly.
Mainstreaming Climate Change Issues
The Brussels Dialogue on Climate Diplomacy (BDCD) consists of a series of informal meetings to exchange information and promote cooperation among European institutions and international organisations active in the nexus between climate change and international, national, human and environmental security.
The first meeting was organised by the Institute for Environmental Security (IES) at the European Climate Foundation (ECF) in Brussels on 31 March 2016. The focus was ona presentation from the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC) highlighting much hope that the Paris Agreement finalised at COP21 in December 2015 had changed 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. Participants recognised the importance of communicating the grand sum of many small decisions - from this point onward. Every new decision taken on infrastructure, security, energy, etc. hasan impact on climate and needs to be seen as such.
The year 2016 was then seen as the year of 'Mainstreaming' climate change issues. The UNFCCC, through the binding reporting requirements of COP21 has developed a rhythm which could be continued and which would be relevant in the wider context of issues such as famine, migration and terrorism.
Participants reinforced the belief that expert spokespersons from the security community can add credibility in bringing climate issues to the public. They also recognised the important role the military and security sector can play in risk analysis, responding to natural disasters and in reducing thier own environmental impact.
The Brussels Dialogue on Climate Diplomacy is an informal network. Attendees at the BDCD meetings may participate in their individual capacities and not necessarily as representatives of their respective organisations.