The CSS Blog Network

Lessons from Post-Conflict States: Peacebuilding Must Factor in Environment and Climate Change

Image courtesy of United Nations Photo/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was published on the New Security Beat blog by the Environmental Change and Security Program on 18 October 2018.

The challenge of peacebuilding missions is not only to stop violence and prevent a rekindling of conflict, but also to help societies and governments reset their internal relations on a peaceful path towards sustaining peace.

In the short run, it might be tempting to dismiss environmental issues when considering the insurmountable task of building peace after armed conflict. Yet, it is increasingly clear that the interaction between social, political, and ecological processes decisively shapes the post-conflict landscape.

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The Changing Risk Landscape

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This graphic plots the change in the perceived likelihood and impact of various societal, technological, geopolitical and environmental risks between 2012 and 2018. For more on resilience and the evolution of deterrence, see Tim Prior’s chapter for Strategic Trends 2018 here. For more CSS charts, maps and graphics on risk and resilience, click here.

US Oil and Gas Production from 1980 – 2020

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This graphic charts US oil and gas production from 1980 to 2015 and forecasts production up to 2020. For more on the interplay between technological innovation and the geopolitics of energy, see Severin Fischer ‘s chapter for Strategic Trends 2018 here. For more CSS charts, maps and graphics on natural resources, click here.

Climate-driven Migration in Africa

Image courtesy of Vandy Massey/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on 20 December 2017.

The total absence of European policies to address climate-driven migration from Africa is deeply concerning.

Europe is underestimating the primary cause of migration from sub-Saharan Africa: climate change. Environmental changes have a particularly pronounced impact on migration from Africa for at least four reasons: the continent is highly dependent on natural resources and agriculture, which are the first assets to be undermined by climate change; it has poor infrastructure, such as flood defences; its states are often characterized by weak institutions, which are less able to adapt to climate change; and its high poverty rate undermines the resilience of local populations to climate shocks.

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The Consequences of Leaving the Paris Agreement

Courtesy of Pierre Marcel/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Council on Foreign Relations on 1 June 2017.

Introduction

President Donald J. Trump has strongly criticized the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate reached by President Barack Obama’s administration, arguing that the global deal to cut back carbon emissions would kill jobs and impose onerous regulations on the U.S. economy. As a result, in June 2017 he announced that the United States will exit the agreement. With the United States producing nearly one-fifth of all global emissions, the U.S. withdrawal from the accord could undercut collective efforts to reduce carbon output, transition to renewable energy sources, and lock in future climate measures.

Debate over the impact of withdrawal continues. While Trump has rolled back climate regulations at a federal level, thirty-four states, led by California and New York, have undertaken their own ambitious carbon reduction plans.

What is the status of the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement was finalized at a global climate conference in 2015, and entered into force in November 2016 after enough countries, including China and the United States, ratified it. The nearly two hundred parties to the deal—only Syria and Nicaragua have failed to sign on—committed to voluntary reductions in carbon emissions with the goal of keeping global temperature increases below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), a level that the assembled nations warned could lead to an “urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.”

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