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European Climate Diplomacy - adelphi's Alexander Carius on EU's response to climate-security risks

Alexander Carius (3:02 - 5:42)

"My name is Alexander Carius, Director of adelphi, which is a Berlin-based think-tank and public policy consultancy on environment development and foreign policy. I dealt with the geopolitics of global environmental change for quite a while; we are doing research and public policy consultancy for a wide array of national governments and international organisations. What brought me here to today's discussion is basically to illustrate to what extent climate change is a driver for conflicts all over the world, and I think we have improved our understanding throughout the last couple of years to get better insights about these climate security and fragility compound risks that we can observe all over the world - from localized, small-scale livelihood security problems to transboundary water problems that relate to water use, energy development, etc. Our question is: do we have a system in place globally that can adequately respond to that, to solve the crises or to prevent from these crises to emerge?

Interestingly enough, the Global Risk Report that was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos a couple of weeks ago named full environment and climate-related issues as top security concerns. They do that already for a couple of years, and my basic question is: do we respond adequately to these challenges? My answer is: no, we don't do that; and I think that it is key also with our view - what Europe is doing and what Europe can do is that we have to increase the capacities at the receiving end, because even if we have understood how complex climate fragility risks are developing (and the number is increasing), we don't have the institutions in place to adequately deal with that.

If we look at the programs even within European foreign policy, there is only a fraction of spending on systematically addressing this question, and I think this needs to be improved in the near future. It does not have to do with staffing; it has to do with bringing that message across the European delegations worldwide; because it is the delegations that have regular dialogues with their counterparts in each of the countries. It is not just spreading the message, but also establishing a system that allows us to receive information on how countries actually are dealing with that; on a technical level or really framing into wider political perspectives."