Climate Security Goes Online: Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2020

Bild mit Bilschirmen von digitaler Konferenz

Climate destabilisation increases risks to peace and security. To address these risks, scientists, civil society and policy-makers are teaming up at the Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2020 to find solutions.


Climate destabilisation increases risks to peace and security. To address these risks, scientists and policy-makers are teaming up to find solutions. The Berlin Climate and Security Conference (BCSC 2020) is the global meeting place for leaders from governments, international organisations, the scientific community, the private sector and civil society to explore how climate change is impacting peace and security—and what action the international community can take to address climate-fragility risks. The first part of BCSC 2020 featured high-level statements from over 14 foreign ministers, heads of state, and UN chiefs and examined the growing risks that the impacts of climate change present for international peace and security, with a view to finding clear steps forward to strengthen responses to climate-related security risks. The second part of BCSC 2020 explores the steps necessary to ensure we build a climate- and conflict-sensitive post-COVID world and reflects on how more comprehensive risk assessments could support a forward-looking and preventative foreign and security policy. It is organised by adelphi, in partnership with the German Federal Foreign Office and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Bringing experts together

Currently, there is no central venue connecting the diverse organisations, researchers and practitioners working on the impacts of climate change on international peace and security. Part II of BCSC 2020 fills this gap by bringing together the field’s various actors in one digital space. This underlines Germany’s leadership on the issue and highlights the central role that adelphi and PIK play in supporting evidence-based responses to climate-security. Part II of the BCSC helps bridge the gaps between science and policy and is the central event of 2020 for the climate-security community. It consists of 22 diverse and engaging partner-led online sessions, covering topics selected to further the understanding of, and ability to address, specific aspects of climate change and security. Topics include how to better use data in climate security risk assessments, urban climate-security risks, the integration of gender into responses to climate-security risks, and migration and displacement in the context of climate change and conflict. We look forward to events hosted by adelphi, the Berghof Foundation, CCCPA, Chatham House, Clingendael Institute, the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, the German Red Cross, the International Development Law Organization, the International Rescue Committee, the Munich Security Conference, PIK, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, UNEP, and the UNSSC.

Improving risk assessments, designing forward-looking foreign policy

The overall goal of BCSC 2020 is to reveal how more comprehensive risk assessments can be translated into forward-looking, preventative foreign policy. In fact, we still lack an authoritative global-level risk assessment that provides a holistic analysis of climate related security risks and clear messages to policy makers.

To address this gap, the German Federal Foreign Office has commissioned a consortium of leading science and policy research institutes to develop a Global Climate Security Risk and Foresight Assessment. The initiative, jointly led by adelphi and PIK, will bring together climate scientists, social scientists and conflict experts to identify context-specific dimensions of risk and resilience with the aim of ensuring timely, relevant and effective responses to climate-related security challenges.

The Berlin Climate and Security Conference Part II is running from September 7 to October 2. Some of the online sessions will be recorded and will be available at the BCSC website and on our YouTube channel.

Contact person: Noah Gordon