At their meeting in Weißenhaus from 12-14 May 2022, the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US issued a “G7 Foreign Ministers' Statement on Climate, Environment, Peace and Security”. The statement commits G7 member-states to a specific, seven-point agenda for action “to advance timely and effective responses to the risks posed by climate change and environmental degradation to stability and peace”.
This declaration by the G7 foreign ministers is an encouraging signal to the expert community: “The significance of this document cannot be overstated. It represents a highly welcome breakthrough in multilateral efforts to prevent the worst outcomes of the climate crisis in the coming years”, says Janani Vivekananda, Head of the Climate Diplomacy and Security Programme at adelphi.
“On this basis, we can move into action”
“Through this statement, the world’s biggest donor countries have reached a common position regarding the dire implications of the climate crisis and environmental degradation for international security. On this basis, we can move into action. For example, the G7 could now kick start a working group to work on the ambitious seven-point agenda for action. It is also imperative that others beyond the G7 join the declaration to ensure a truly multilateral Climate, Environment, Peace and Security Initiative for implementation that the declaration envisages”, adds Benjamin Pohl, also from adelphi’s Climate Diplomacy and Security Programme.
The Weathering Risk initiative
The declaration is only as good as the action which comes from it. One step towards this is the Weathering Risk initiative. Jointly led by adelphi and PIK, this multilateral initiative unites state-of-the-art climate impact data and localised conflict analysis to promote peace and resilience in a changing climate on the ground. The initiative is supported by a range of governments, and partners with a variety of leading research institutes from around the world.
Since 2022, it includes a Peace Pillar which translates climate-security foresight and analysis into peacemaking action in the field across a range of different geographic contexts and conflict types, supported by the German Foreign Office and in collaboration with the Berghof Foundation, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, the European Institute of Peace and Innovations for Poverty Action.
Consolidating progress to move forward together
The statement makes explicit reference to processes and events that adelphi has helped bring about together with partners such as Clingendael, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Foreign Office, such as the Hague Declaration on Planetary Security, the Berlin Call for Action on Climate and Security, and the annual Berlin Climate and Security Conference.
Already in the run-up to the previous German G7 presidency in 2015, adelphi led an international consortium including International Alert, the Wilson Center and the EU Institute for Security Studies to help set the global agenda for climate-impacts on global security. The resulting report, “A New Climate for Peace”, led the G7 to set up a working group on climate security and start investing into implementation, notably by inspiring the first ever regional climate security risk assessment on the Lake Chad basin. Another direct follow-up to the 2015 G7 report was a partnership of UN Environment with the EU and adelphi to address the security implications of climate change in two pilot countries, resulting in a toolbox for climate security projects and programmes informed by work in Darfur and Nepal.