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Climate Diplomacy and COP23: Editorial

Dear Reader,

This year’s UN Climate Change conference is about to kick off in Bonn, Germany. In its wake, natural and political hurricanes have shaken the planet and will affect the climate at COP23. There promises to be a packed agenda with negotiations ongoing on the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s objectives.

COP23 will be crucial to pave the way for the facilitative dialogue due in 2018 to ensure that a further improvement of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) will be improved and overall ambition increased. In addition, further steps needs to be taken towards the socalled "Paris Rule Book" to give more flesh to the bones of the Paris Agreement and guide the parties towards implementation. But, of course, with Fiji’s COP23 presidency, this conference is more. Adaptation and disaster management will be the forefront of the discussion – and the international climate community must send clear signals of solidarity and commitment to those states most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

With this special newsletter on COP23, we aim to shed light on some key developments and issues to be aware of because they are not necessarily at the top of the agenda of negotiators at the moment but ask for prolonged leadership of climate diplomats.

Migration has been a primary political concern in many regions. Anja Mihr from the Center on Governance through Human Rights looks at climate migration through the human rights lens. Next, we zero in on how important climate-related migration is for small island states, which must not be left behind. Fiji’s COP23 presidency offers an opportunity to put this matter high on the agenda.

International climate policy is shaken by a leadership vacuum', not least because Donald Trump announced his intention that the United States will pull out of the Paris Agreement. This raises the likelihood that COP23 will be a political COP just as much as it will be a technical COP. Paul Joffe, former Senior Foreign Policy Counsel at the World Resources Institute, argues that climate change needs to be part of a broad, integrated agenda because of its vast implications for economic and social development. Ultimately, it is a powerful argument for increased foreign policy involvement.

Last but not least, as the debate on the links between climate and conflictcontinues, Adrien Detges from adelphi responds to research that disputes the contribution of climate change to the Syrian uprising. Alexander Carius, Managing Director at adelphi, then illustrates how climate change exacerbates the deadly cocktail of catastrophes in the Lake Chad Basin– and why it is paramount that the international community responds.

So stay tuned to all that is happening at COP23! We suggest 12 top Twitter accounts you can follow to do so.

Greetings from Berlin

Stephan Wolters, Senior Project Manager at adelphi