Due to the melting of Arctic glaciers to the proliferation of African deserts, climate change is a reality. While it threatens prosperity and well-being throughout the world, the impact is likely to be most severe in regions where people are already socially and economically vulnerable. Rising sea-levels and increased occurrence of extreme weather events such as storms, droughts and floods will exacerbate pressure on already scarce resources, particularly water, land and food. Competition for these scarce resources is also likely to fuel migration. Climate change is therefore set to reshape the geopolitics of the world in which we live, with far-reaching consequences for peace and security.
To address this challenge and discuss possible solutions, the Federal Foreign Office with support from adelphi organised an international conference titled "Climate Change as a Security Threat - Strategies for Policy-Makers, Science and Business" held in Freiburg, Germany, from 6-7 November 2008. Representatives of international organisations, the EU and its Member States, cities, the private sector, civil society and the scientific community assembled in Freiburg to discuss with over 1,300 participants the implications of climate change.