Climate change is one of the key global security challenges of the 21st century. Its impacts are a ‘threat multiplier’ that will increase state fragility, fuel social unrest, and potentially result in violent conflict. Simultaneously, existing state fragility is hampering efforts at adaptation, particularly among vulnerable populations. As climate change impacts that are already palpable today invariably increase over the coming decades, this threatens to lock many societies into ‘fragility traps’.
G7 governments have recognized the resulting major challenges for sustainable economic development, peace, and stability. The G7 have emphasized their determination to respond to climate change challenges robustly. In April 2016, G7 Foreign Ministers concluded that foreign policy must contribute to addressing this challenge effectively, and endorsed the recommendations of the G7 Working Group on Climate and Fragility that had made twelve suggestions to this effect – including the continued development of the knowledge platform, which adelphi took the lead in developing on behalf of the G7 in 2015. This project, supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, implements this decision to ensure continuity of the discussion on climate-fragility risks through the knowledge platform beyond the publication of the report “A New Climate for Peace” in April 2015.
The knowledge platform www.newclimateforpeace.org facilitates further discussion of the report by providing additional analysis and eliciting broader engagement with the issues identified in the report, including by civil society actors and experts from countries with high climate-fragility risks. It provides a space to share analysis, research, and emerging thinking on climate change impacts and climate change responses in fragile states and on the actions necessary to build resilience and stability. Moreover, it offers policy-makers ready access to information on the topic by monitoring, filtering, and synthesizing topical and scientific issues.
This project has three main components:
- Regular contributions to the platform's blog Resilience Compass, which assesses emerging thinking and policies regarding climate-fragility risks and climate change responses: Influential experts and authors published dozens of blog articles on the platform. adelphi moreover established numerous partnerships with contributing organisations.
- Developing and refining the ECC Factbook, a database on environmentally-related situations of fragility and solution strategies. All existing cases were updated and their coverage of conflict resolution and resilience-building strategies extended. Further cases were added (e.g. Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, Philippines), bringing the total to more than 120 cases. New features were added to the factbook.
- Reaching out to (foreign) policy makers to sensitize them to the fragility risks climate change poses, by organizing dedicated briefings and informal roundtables for policy makers and practitioners from G7 and other countries on climate-fragility risks, resilience building, and the role of foreign policy, and on how to make the best use of the resources of the platform. A focus was put on briefings for the G7 working group (e.g. at COP22 in Marrakesh) and support to the Japanese Presidency of the G7, which oversaw a conference on climate-fragility risks on 19 January 2018.