The Paris Agreement represents essential progress in the fight against climate change.
However, even if global warming is limited to 1.5°C, it will have significant consequences, including prolonged droughts, severe flooding, coastal soil salinization and habitat destruction due to hurricanes. All of these are threats to international peace and security.
The impact of these climate changes on vulnerable regions and non-resilient societies, can lead to large-scale migration, create socio-economic imbalances, heighten tensions around resource access, and rekindle old sources of conflict between communities, particularly between sedentary farmers and nomadic herders.
Despite the international community’s commitment to fighting climate change, the consequences of global warming for security have largely been overlooked to date, even though its role has been acknowledged in several crises in the Sahel and Middle East regions.
In addition to massively reducing emissions, we now need to develop tools to analyse and act on the consequences of climate change for international peace and security.
The declaration presented during the Alliance for Multilateralism event on 26 September 2019 called upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to produce a bi-annual report on the issue taking regional situations into account. Such a tool would give States, regional organizations, United Nations agencies and development stakeholders the information needed to develop tangible prevention measures for climate-related conflicts. It was adopted on 25 September in New York during a Climate and Security friendship group meeting.
This initiative was proposed by the German Foreign Minister, Mr Heiko Maas. Germany and the Republic of Nauru jointly launched a UN Climate and Security friendship group on 1 August 2018 and of which 48 Member States are currently members. The German minister spoke in January 2019 during the open debate at the UN Security Council on the impact of climate-related disasters on international peace and security and organized an international conference on climate and security on 4 June 2019 in Berlin.
The Climate and Security friendship group has grown significantly since it was launched in August 2018 increasing from 27 founding members to 48 members currently. The aim is to obtain as much support as possible for the draft declaration to encourage the United Nations to deal with this issues as a priority matter.
The 48 members of the friendship group are: Germany (co-chair), Bangladesh, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tonga, Palau, Fiji, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Maldives, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Nauru (co-chair), Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Seychelles, Ghana, Namibia, Chad, Niger, Kenya, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Belize, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Swizerland, Canada, Italy, Greece, Monaco, Malta, Spain.