Last week’s communiqué from the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Lübeck included a statement on climate change and security. In welcoming a report, A New Climate for Peace, to which my organisation International Alert contributed, the communiqué moves the issue forward and declares it to be worthy of high level political attention. Unfortunately, what is to be done is not so clear. Continue reading
As I remarked already, and it’s the starting point for the new edition of my State of the World Atlas (published this week), the human population is seven times greater than it was 200 years ago but our use of resources is disproportionately greater still: we produce 50 times as much, using 60 times as much water and 75 times as much energy. Where is that all going – and perhaps more to the point, how long can it keep on going? A new report offers insights. Continue reading
Water is a basic condition of life. We depend upon it for daily use, for agriculture, for industry and infrastructure. A shortage, an excess and deficient quality can all undermine welfare, impair human security, hold back economic development and in some circumstances generate conflict. The London-based Foreign Policy Centre has published Tackling the World Water Crisis, an edited collection of articles in which mine looks at the peace and security issues around water. Continue reading
What does the advent of the new government mean for UK policy on international development? Continue reading
The climate deal won’t happen at Copenhagen in December. The work will continue. And as more people become aware of and motivated by the links between climate change on the one hand and conflict, peace and security on the other, both the possibility and the necessity of clarity about those links increase. It is an area of discussion where making an extra effort of care and precision is justified. Continue reading
It is an increasingly familiar argument that the consequences of climate change will interact with key features of the social, economic and political landscape of countries in such a way that, especially among the poorer countries in the world, the risk of violent conflict will rise significantly. The policy agenda for addressing this problem is a combination of peacebuilding and adaptation to climate change, both of them involving a combination of international support for nationally coordinated action that engages the participation and energy of ordinary people and communities. During the week of 8 to 12 June I was in Washington DC gauging how these issues are viewed there.
Here are some headline thoughts, recorded by the Environmental Change and Security Programe at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in DC in connection with a talk I gave for them: (click here). Go to the New Security Beat web-site (see my log roll on the lower right of this home page) for more.
A billion are underfed and a billion are overweight. People, that is. Publication of an excellent report on food security by Alex Evans, The Feeding of the Nine Billion, offers an occasion for reflecting on how food sits at the fulcrum of many of the outstanding concerns of today – climate change and conflict, poverty and wealth, deprivation and privilege, power and exclusion. Continue reading