MISTRA Geopolitics: Preventive foreign policy responses to the geopolitical implications of environmental change

Planet earth from the space at night . Some elements of this image furnished by NASA

Geopolitical shifts can have far-reaching implications for global pursuit of sustainable development, while a sustainable transformation can re-shape international relations. To drive ambitious transformation forward while mitigating geopolitical risks, policy makers need to understand the complex interactions of international relations, human security and environmental change in different regions of the world.

Funded by Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra), the research consortium of the Mistra Geopolitics Programme examines and debates these linkages with key stakeholders. Researchers from adelphi, E3G, Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute as well as from Stockholm University, Lund University, Uppsala University, Linköping University bring their analytic capacities and skills in practitioner-science communication to the table to unravel the complexity of global transformation challenges. The Board and the Stakeholder Partners that accompany the Programme include distinguished foreign policy makers, state agencies, banks, enterprise associations and trade unions.

adelphi helps develop the work stream of geopolitics of decarbonisation. For this, adelphi suggested a conceptual framework to delineate and structure the research field in a background paper. Among others, this research made clear that infrastructure investments are at a critical juncture of geopolitics and decarbonisation. Therefore, adelphi’s second study focused on possible decarbonisation impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), focusing on the case study of Kazakhstan. The report provided entry points for European climate diplomacy to engage on a greener BRI with China and the countries to which the investments are targeted. In its final scoping paper, adelphi explored geopolitics of decarbonisation through a trade lens. adelphi continuously fed in the findings into policy discourse through presentations and discussions at various events of the Programme. adelphi continues its engagements with Mistra Geopolitics in the second phase of the Programme.

Publications of this project