The adverse impacts of climate change are being felt across the world and the pressures on our planet are increasing.
The protection of our environment is no longer an option and urgently requires strong and even radical measures to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases.
It is therefore of the utmost importance to tackle the manifold threats that climate change poses to the security, peace and stability of countries and regions worldwide. In recent years we have witnessed extreme weather, water and food scarcity that can exacerbate local and regional tensions leading to conflict, migration and even global security consequences. Climate change and security are therefore global issues that need global action. That is why we need to harmonise the EU’s Global Security Strategy with the Green Deal, in an integrated approach analysing climate security in conjunction with other areas of security such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, maritime security, and last but not least, development. Cooperation on climate change and success-oriented diplomacy can therefore be good entry points for strengthening trust and preventing conflicts. This understanding will lead to action on the ground and become a source of sustainability, strength and efforts for peace by addressing at the same time climate, energy distribution, development and other security threats.
Mitigating climate change is of unprecedented importance. On the basis of the 2016 Paris Agreement , all countries need to define a comprehensive and global set of measures to which each nation can make its own contribution, including research in space, sea and earth. Such a strategy must also take account of the capacity of developing countries to translate their Paris commitments into initiatives and projects. These are often hampered by the lack of predictable and sustained financing, most often provided by the “rich” countries.
As climate change has to be considered as a multiplier of existing security instabilities, what role can the European Union (EU) play in this concert?
The Union is currently defining its strategic compass for the next decades. Within this compass, the Green Deal is a most important issue and decisions that the EU has already taken to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases demonstrate that it can take on the important role of pace maker.
In view of the political and technological capabilities of the EU, I am convinced that the Union should have a leading role in climate security both by keeping this issue on the global agenda but also by supporting other countries in their efforts to mitigating climate security threats. The EU could even be a facilitator between the “big” contraveners like China and the United States of America.