Germany will assume the Presidency of the UN Security Council again for the month of July. Alongside the impact of pandemics on international security, the focus will be on one subject: climate-induced security risks.
So Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will be hosting the second Berlin Climate and Security Conference beforehand, on 23 and 24 June. He will open the virtual conference along with Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Foreign Minister. The ensuing panel discussion will also include Norway and Kenya, two countries newly elected to the UN Security Council for the period from 2021 which will be continuing the commitment to this issue.
On the way to a comprehensive report on climate and security
Climate change’s impact on our security is very real. It affects all regions of the world and does not stop at national borders. What is more, continuing global warming means that climate change is endangering the livelihood of more and more people. That’s why, at the conference, the Federal Foreign Office is starting work on a comprehensive report on climate-induced security risks, a “Global Risk and Foresight Assessment”, to be drawn up over several years.
The aim of the report is to examine the direct and indirect impact of climate change on peace and international security. At the same time, the report will aim to provide answers to the most pressing questions of how to deal with climate-induced security risks. Given the increasingly serious repercussions of climate change – in the Central American Dry Corridor, the Sahel region or Afghanistan, for instance – the world urgently needs solutions. This is particularly true wherever drought more and more often destroys entire harvests and more and more people are suffering from increasing water scarcity.
Climate and security in the UN Security Council
At the end of July the German Government will be putting climate-induced security risks on the UN Security Council agenda. Germany has the support here of a Group of Friends comprising over 50 states, including numerous small island states in immediate danger owing to rising sea levels.
They all want to see the UN Security Council take the link between climate and security into account in its decision-making in all conflict situations. In places where climate change poses a threat to peace and security, the international community needs to take action before conflicts break out or escalate. This will only be possible with better risk analysis and greater expertise in the UN’s areas of operation.
Germany and the United Nations are advancing this issue together. The Federal Foreign Office is helping the UN to draw up a study on climate-induced security risks in the Horn of Africa. Germany is also funding the United Nations Environment Programme’s very first environmental security adviser, who is supporting the UN peace mission in Somalia (UNSOM).