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Berlin is calling – will the world listen?

Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2019 at the German Federal Foreign Office, Berlin. |

Climate and security were the focus of a high-level foreign policy conference held in Berlin in early June. At the core of the conference was the “Berlin Call for Action”, which aims to catalyse international responses to address climate change as a threat multiplier. The Call sets out three concrete action areas for tackling the threats posed by climate change to peace and security, namely risk-informed planning, enhanced capacity for action and improved operational response. It is more than likely that other foreign ministers will endorse the Call and spread the word. But what if the world doesn’t listen? It was former US Secretary of State John Kerry who highlighted during the conference the war on climate science in some parts of the world (and especially in his country). He stressed the difficulties diplomats are facing in ensuring fact-based foreign policy-making. The same holds true for the European landscape, which is on the edge after the recent European Parliament elections revealed how climate protection is the new conflict line in European societies. Accordingly, the Berlin Call is more than timely but requires substantially more engagement in the course of 2019 to be heard at the upcoming High-level Political Forum and Climate Action Summit in New York, COP25 in Santiago de Chile and elsewhere.