Foreign affairs and national security as crucial entry-points for climate policy – Ottmar Edenhofer

Linking climate change and security is about recognising a real threat, but also serves to strategically focus the attention of states on the climate issue.

"Foreign policy needs a change, because we can only solve the climate problem when we cooperate internationally. The climate problem is a problem of a global public good. And we have to define fair and efficient user rights, and this cannot be done unilaterally. This cannot be done by one nation state. This can only be done internationally. And ensuring international cooperation, creating a space where nation states can talk about their values, about their goals, what they want to achieve is one important issue.

And there is absolutely no opportunity, no reason to believe that in the 21st century you can make just one nation great. The only thing what we can do is we can basically create the conditions that basically all human beings can flourish on Planet Earth. I think the most important thing is that climate change becomes a security issue because this is a natural entry point to convince national governments and nation states, because they are very much concerned about the security issues.

So nation states could become more focused on this issue and this is very important: that there is an ongoing debate within the Security Council. The second next step is from my point of view that basically foreign policy should support the UNFCCC process.

And I hope that basically in the next few COPs we have effective negotiations on how to cooperate, for example, how to link carbon markets, how to bring carbon pricing to the attention of the national governments and coordination about carbon prices. This is from my point of view a necessary ingredient of any successful global international climate policy. And this could be quite tangible next steps."