Adaptation as Pillar of a New Climate Diplomacy
The role of adaptation in climate diplomacy efforts has gained some political attention. “To adapt to climate change in a conflict-sensitive manner” is considered an “important task for 21st century foreign services” as the EU Foreign Affairs Council stated earlier this year in its June Council Conclusions. ECC Newsletter focused already in its last edition on the important role climate change adaptation plays in South Asia. In a report on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency, adelphi now analyses the linkage between adaptation, peace and stability.
The main objective of this report is to outline the potential contribution of adaptation measures to avoid crises and conflicts caused or exacerbated by water scarcity, food shortages or extreme weather events. As part of the conceptual framework we show how adaptation may contribute to peace and stability even in conflict-prone areas given that a conflict-sensitive approach is applied. On the basis of a comprehensive regional analysis, we illustrate that adaptation is not yet a prominent element of regional cooperation. To address this gap, we suggest three regional adaptation roadmaps for the Andes region, Central and South Asia based on desk review of regional processes and programmes as well as expert consultations. By using entry points for regional cooperation, adaptation can not only be mainstreamed but also help to further contribute to regional identities and stability.
To ensure that the results can be considered in national and international policy processes and to strengthen international governance for adaptation, we close the report with a “Memorandum for Action on Adaptation for Peace and Stability” outlining major principles to support processes for adaptation and peace. Such principles are, for example, the establishment of peace and conflict assessments for adaptation programmes, the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation in conflict-prone contexts, applying conflict sensitive approaches or provisions to ensure participatory processes to design and implement adaptation measures. With this report, we also hope to offer some ideas how to further develop a climate diplomacy toolbox that complements on-going activities as part of the international climate negotiations.