Today 30 August sees the launch of Stockholm Climate Security Hub, a new initiative of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs that brings together SEI and three other Stockholm-based think-tanks. The launch takes place at World Water Week.
The Stockholm Climate Security Hub’s overall aim is to cooperate on research and analysis on climate security as well as to communicate the latest knowledge in the field. The Hub in particular aims to provide evidence-based support to policy-makers, including in the United Nations and other international organizations.
The Hub’s research partners will be Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University (SRC).
Mistra Geopolitics’ Co-Director and Senior Research Fellow at SEI, Karl Hallding said:
“Addressing such a multi-dimensional issue, the Hub will benefit enormously from the range of knowledge and experience of the partners, including in bridging science to policy. We hope it will establish Stockholm as a world-leading resource on this vitally important topic.”
Why climate security?
Climate change is increasingly being described as a threat multiplier, something that interacts with other risks and threats to increase the risk of insecurity, and even conflict. The interactions between climate change and security can take many forms.
In parts of the world such as the Sahel it can exacerbate poverty as well as displacing populations as the land, lakes and rivers they have relied on, dry up. This can force them into unemployment, competition for resources, poverty or exploitation, raising tensions and insecurity. In turn, young people are left vulnerable to recruitment by criminal gangs and violent extremist groups such as Boko Haram.
Another way that climate change and security interact is through events like droughts, floods and crop disease outbreaks, devastating harvests and leading to volatile food prices, food shortages, and political upheavals with potentially global repercussions.
At the same time, a key question being explored under the research programme Mistra Geopolitics– which is hosted by SEI and includes SIPRI as a partner – is how efforts to reach Paris Agreement climate targets could affect global security.
“Climate security is a complex but urgent challenge. Through this new Hub we will be able to provide the world’s policy-makers with evidence and analysis they need to make crucial decisions for an uncertain climate future,” said Mistra Geopolitics’ Programme Director, Björn-Ola Linnér.
The launch of the Stockholm Climate Security Hub is a milestone in Sweden’s ongoing efforts to push climate security up the international agenda. It follows the UN Security Council debate on climate security which took place under the Swedish Security Council presidency in July this year, the first Security Council debate on the topic in seven years. As Foreign Minister Margot Wallström told the Security Council during that session, a key aim for Sweden is to ensure that the UN Climate Summit in September 2019 addresses climate security.
Read related article in Dagens Nyheter: Climate change strikes security – now the UN must act. Written by Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Isabella Lövin,Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister.
Twitter: @SEIclimate@SIWI @sthlmresilience @SIPRIorg @Utrikesdep
Mistra Geopolitics Co-Director, Åsa Persson