Climate change impacts and their foreign policy implications at the global, regional and local levels are complex and dynamic. In order to formulate appropriate policies and sound long-term strategies, as well as to conduct climate outreach, a thorough grasp of climate diplomacy, and an understanding of the characteristics of climate impacts and politics in each region are necessary. In this context, the German Federal Foreign Office and adelphi have taken on a programme for further developing the capacities and knowledge available to the Federal Foreign Office, consisting of a range of capacity building formats, since 2011.

Training on climate security and diplomacy in Cameroon, 2019

Specific country profiles complemented the diplomatic toolkit in the run-up to COP21 in order to support targeted outreach to selected partner countries. These profiles looked into the specifics of each country’s approach to national and international climate politics, helping to identify common interests and entry points for ambitious climate cooperation – based on so-called climate diplomacy narratives.

A series of policy briefings, organised for German Embassy staff and representatives of German donor agencies in regions of key political interest, has been undertaken in recent years and a two-track executive training for diplomats has been initiated.

At the Federal Foreign Office, roundtables with invited experts are organised at regular intervals to provide new perspectives and in-depth knowledge to foreign policy-makers. A series of region-specific Climate Security Dialogues for the Foreign Office’s senior staff and other German government decision-makers allowed for an ongoing exchange on the particular linkages between climate and security with experts from four regions: Southern MediterraneanLatin AmericaSouth Asia and Central Asia.

Training Programme for Diplomats

In cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office, adelphi prepares and conducts targeted policy briefings for German Embassy officials, officers from German implementing agencies, and representatives of German foundations in selected capitals. In some cases, representatives of the EEAS and other EU Member States as well as G7 officials are also included. Furthermore, in order to enable foreign ministry staff to apply central concepts of climate diplomacy, the German Federal Foreign Office has embarked on a two-track executive training programme for diplomats, which aims to impart key skills and up-to-date knowledge.

The briefings elaborate on climate security risks in the specific regions and provide an introduction to the Federal Foreign Office’s approach and efforts to develop a foreign policy perspective on climate security risks. Participants become acquainted with the broader climate and security debate and the respective UN processes and activities. There is also discussion on the particular role that embassies may play in promoting policies to address risks in the respective domestic and regional contexts.

The objective of the briefings is for the participants to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the topic in order to be able to undertake climate diplomacy outreach in line with international processes and German foreign policy priorities. To this end, participants discuss the extent to which climate change can be a threat multiplier, the policies and measures needed to tackle climate risks, the kind of international activities that are of key relevance for this topic, and possible options for German foreign policy in the respective regional settings.

The first track is a yearly, week-long training programme by the Federal Foreign Office for younger German diplomats from embassies and headquarters on current and main topics of climate and energy policy. Leading experts from ministries, universities and think tanks are invited to provide insights, share their experience in negotiations, and contribute ideas for further development of an ambitious global climate policy. Headquarter and embassy staff exchange their experience in implementing climate and energy diplomacy projects in their host countries, thus disseminating best practices among German foreign missions.

adelphi offers a second training track for diplomats, both German and foreign, which covers an array of foreign policy instruments, as well as approaches and actors’ perspectives on climate change. The training programme makes use of innovative methods such as the simulation of UN Security Council sessions on climate security. In 2013, the training implemented on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office took place in Berlin and was conducted for diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean; in 2015, the above simulation was undertaken with German diplomats.

Climate security trainings

Does your organisation want to do more hands-on work with climate security? adelphi, the Berlin-based think tank that runs the CSEN Secretariat, has developed a ready-to-use, modular climate security training programme. Participants will learn to better assess climate-security risks, increase capacities to integrate these risks into programming, and enhance action to address these risks on the ground.

    Who is it for?

    The programme is designed for:

    • policymakers
    • diplomats
    • researchers and analysts
    • international organization staff
    • private companies

    We have already carried out trainings for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the European External Action Service (EEAS), and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, among others. Want to do a training online? No problem. The tools and experience for it are ready to use.

      What's in a training?

      Participants address several questions:

      • What are the security impacts of climate change, which risks emerge, and which regions are most affected?
      • Which policy processes exist at the UN and other international and regional levels? What are national approaches to climate diplomacy?
      • What are entry points for policies, interventions, projects and programs to respond to security risks with concrete, preventive action?
      • Which tools exist to analyse conflicts and design responses?

      What do participants get?

      • a selection of 20+ training modules, consisting of presentations, group work, and simulation games, all tailored to their knowledge level and their organization's objectives
      • a seminar handbook with more exercises and reports on subjects from water and land to climate-induced migration
      • case studies from around the world and useful inforgraphics
      • the chance to work closely with climate security experts from around the world