Media advisory for webinar on 29 April 2021, 15.00-16.00 CET
The United States recently announced that climate change is now ‘at the center’ of U.S. foreign policy. Mistra Geopolitics will be presenting results from the study ‘Climate change as security risks: Perception patterns among UN climate conference participants’ at the webinar ‘How climate security risks shape international cooperation’, hosted by Stockholm Environment Institute and Mistra Geopolitics.
Björn-Ola Linnér, Programme Director of Mistra Geopolitics and Professor at Linköping University summarized the upcoming study on climate change and security risks:
Participants of the UN climate meetings with great consensus see climate change as a significant risk to both international peace and security, and to global, human security. Participants from vulnerable and poorer countries see significant risks to peace and security in their own country, while richer countries are more concerned about international stability.
Climate risks for human and national security
2020 and 2016 has been the hottest years on record, and the 2010s the warmest decade. During the same decade, the world has seen an increase in armed conflicts.
Nina von Uexkull, Senior Lecturer at Stockholm University and researcher of Mistra Geopolitics, said:
With more extreme global warming, conflict risks are estimated to increase. Conflict depresses economic growth and elevates future conflict risks and vulnerability to climate change.
Avril Haines, President Biden’s director of national intelligence, told world leaders on Thursday that climate change was no longer a peripheral issue but now “at the center” of U.S. foreign policy. This was announced at President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate. Other countries have pushed multilateral institutions such as the European Union, UN Environment, the UN Security Council or the World Bank to address climate risks for human and national security.
Lisa Dellmuth, Associate Professor at Stockholm University and researcher of Mistra Geopolitics, highlighted results from her study ‘Humanitarian need drives multilateral disaster aid’:
The key finding is that UN aid in the aftermath of climate-related disasters is largely driven by humanitarian need. The UN seems able to fend off donor states’ strategic interest and allocate more aid after disasters where hazard severity is greater and the need is more pressing.
Based on this finding, the authors argue that the UN lives up to its stated principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence in disaster aid, corroborating the legitimacy of the UN in allocating disaster aid. Lisa Dellmuth said:
This could be of interest to the Biden administration and the climate security policy community, as it underlines that it would be useful to ramp up channelling of disaster relief aid through the UN system.
Journalists are welcome to join this webinar with research experts from Mistra Geopolitics, to discuss new evidence on what we know about the link between climate change and conflict, and how risks are perceived and governed by states and multilateral institutions.
Björn-Ola Linnér: Programme Director of Mistra Geopolitics and Professor at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research at Linköping University. He analyses how the political processes and actors affect conditions for social changes towards sustainable development in different parts of the world. He has a long experience in research dialogues with various societal actors, such as the climate convention’s secretariat, governments, businesses and environmental organizations.
Nina von Uexküll
Nina von Uexkull is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Stockholm University. She is also Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo. Nina is leading the Mistra Geopolitics research theme Food Security in the second programme phase. Her main research areas are the impacts of climate change and natural hazards on armed conflict and human security.
Lisa Dellmuth is Associate Professor of International Relations at Stockholm University. Her research focuses on legitimacy and redistribution in global governance, and global climate change solutions. She leads the 5-year research program GlocalClim (Glocalizing Climate Governance: The role of Integrated Governance for a Just and Legitimate Adaptation to Climate Risks) funded by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Formas).
Telephone:+46 8 161 076
Maria holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree, both from Linköping University, Sweden. She took her master’s degree in International and European Relations and her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Her research concerns the conditions for international collaboration on climate change after the 2015 Paris Agreement and focuses especially on the roles that the state has, or can have, in global climate governance, and what could shape the state’s role. In the Mistra Geopolitics programme, her work is related to Work Package 4, The Interrelationships between Shifting Geopolitical Landscapes and the SDGs.
The study ‘Climate Change as Security Risks: Perception Patterns among UN Climate Conference Participants’ will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and on the Mistra Geopolitics website during the spring 2021.
For interviews or further information, please contact:
Maria Cole is a Senior Communications Officer at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) based in Stockholm.
Telephone:+46 70 224 20 22
Ylva Rylander is a Communications Officer at SEI. As a core member of SEI’s communications team, Ylva writes and edits press releases, develops communication plans, and provides strategic advice to SEI researchers to help them maximize the impact of their research.
Telephone:+4673 150 33 84