Synthesis: Climate Security in 3D

We need joint, cross-government, cross-border, and cross-discipline approaches to effectively address climate-related security risks and strengthen the community of practice.
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© k-b-Ruf0NLvIFYw; unsplash

2021 represents an important year for climate diplomacy and holds unique opportunities for progress on the issue. To advance joint, cross-government, cross-border, and cross-discipline approaches adelphi and Wilton Park hosted a three-part event series on “Climate Security in 3D: Diplomacy, Development, and Defence” (16 – 25 March 2021). The dialogues addressed roles and remits, opportunities and limits to collaboration of all three sectors with regard to climate-related security risks.

During the three interactive discussions, participants explored opportunities and challenges of cooperation and set out concrete areas for priority action. The focus on entry points lead to manifold recommendations for action across the 3Ds.

The most relevant include:

  1. The value of cross-government climate and security ‘communities of practice’ or joint committees to share learnings, skills, and experiences to address climate security risks.
  2. Comprehensive analysis, early warning, and early action require access to climate data and an understanding of how to access and include climate data into existing tools and analysis alongside conflict, development, and humanitarian data.
  3. Even with high quality early warning data, there is a need to prioritise and enable early action to reduce risks based on early warning information. This calls for a political paradigm shift towards increased investment in prevention. Investments in education and sustainable livelihoods are central here, given that prosperity is a key element for resilience to climate change and conflict shocks.
  4. The need for more geographically specific, contextual, and evidence-based recommendations which can offer more nuanced language on climate security at the international and multilateral level. Investing in locally led research and expertise in all activities and solutions is key.
  5. Establishing a multilateral space or ‘coalition of the willing’ member states for climate and security. Here, bilateral diplomatic ties should be leveraged as a means for climate security champions to bring around potentially recalcitrant states.
  6. Move the debate from the need to justify causal linkages between climate change and security towards a solutions-oriented discourse to priorities ‘do no harm’ and ‘no regrets’ options. This would enable climate action to advance alongside sustainable peace and vice versa.

To discover all 26 policy recommendations for actors across and within the 3Ds working on climate security, please take a look at the complete Synthesis paper.