Asia-Pacific Climate Security Project
The climate security featured page will share research findings and related information on climate security. We are exploring various topics, including international trends analysis, energy security, food security, climate-induced human mobility, climate adaptation and humanitarian development, ocean security, and more. We aim to facilitate discussions from diverse perspectives to provide insights into these critical issues.
Asia-Pacific Climate Security Project (APCS)
International Symposium on Climate Security in Asia-Pacific
Implications of COP28 Results for Climate Security
The impacts of climate change and its induced frequent extreme weather conditions, such as heat waves, floods, wildfires and rising sea levels, are already a reality in many parts of the world, with significant impacts on food, water, and other elements essential for human survival. To halt such global environmental degradation, different sustainable solutions like achieving net-zero development should be prioritised. This kind of transition requires a fundamental transformation for different systems such as environment, food, water and materials, along with societal change.
However, the risks of climate change and the social transformation necessary to tackle those risks can also create social instability, fragmentation and conflict. There are complex mechanisms behind this situation, ranging from new resource conflicts for energy and critical minerals, climate-induced migration and immobility, and food and water security, among others. This awareness has led to the argument that climate change now has an impact that cannot be ignored in terms of achieving the core objective of security, for both individual nations and for the international community as a whole. As an area of interest in climate change, "climate security" has recently received much attention.
Despite its critical importance, a holistic approach still needs to be improved among scientific communities and policymakers, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Considering the above background and knowledge gap, IGES has launched a new research project to analyse the linkage between climate change and security from various angles, including national, regional, international and human security. This project aims to explore the significance and usefulness of this concept and to provide guidance for policies and the activities of various actors.
Learn Climate Security
[IGES podcast] SDG 13 Climate Action: Framing Climate Change as a Security Issue (anchored on UNFCCC-COP28)
Implications of COP28 Results for Climate Security
Significant developments in the field of climate security were marked by the dedication to the Health/Relief, Recovery & Peace Day at COP28. However, these are the initiatives outside the negotiation. Then, regarding the negotiation outcome labelled the UAE Consensus, what implication does it hold for climate security? Here are three points from the UAE Consensus that seem particularly relevant to climate security:
Agreement on the operationalisation of the new funding arrangements, including the Loss and Damage Fund
Loss and Damage refer to the adverse effects of climate change despite efforts in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and arguably its content significantly overlaps with initiatives of climate security. For example, in the GST decision, such approaches as disaster risk reduction, humanitarian assistance, recovery, displacement, planned relocation, and migration were cited as responses to Loss and Damage (-/CMA.5, paras. 125, 131). Climate security highlights the direct and indirect impacts of climate change across various societal facets, potentially leading to instability, division, and conflicts. The progress in concrete responses through the anticipated Loss and Damage Fund is crucial in shaping climate security policies.
What the Loss and Damage Fund agreed upon on the first day of COP28 is based on discussions held over the past year in the transitional committee following the agreement to establish the fund and funding facilities at COP27. Immediate pledges to the fund swiftly followed, totalling more than $700 million. The management of the fund and its associated facilities, alongside the ongoing discussions within the Warsaw International Mechanism and the Santiago Network—key drivers of technical discourse on Loss and Damage under the UNFCCC—warrant considerable attention from the standpoint of climate security.
Call to transition away from fossil fuels: Global Stocktake (GST) Document （‐/CMA.5, paras. 28(d)）
In response to the GST decision, the acceleration in the transition away from fossil fuels is anticipated. Countries will renew their NDCs by 2025, building on this language included in the GST decision. Considering energy security perspectives, such as securing critical materials necessary for the widespread adoption of renewable energy, is crucial in this energy transition. Striking a balance between advancing decarbonisation efforts and ensuring energy security will require cautious yet bold decision-making in the future policy formations of each nation.
Agreement on the framework for operationalising the Global Goal on Adaptation（GGA)
Significant decisions have also been made in the context of climate change adaptation. The agreement on the GGA framework is expected to provide distinct guidelines for each country's adaptation efforts. Notably, sector-specific goals related to adaptation in water, food, health, ecosystems, infrastructure/housing, poverty reduction, and cultural heritage are included in the framework (-/CMA.5, para. 9). This emphasises the integration of adaptation across diverse sectors, fostering comprehensive climate risk responses and suggesting a direction for policy formulation towards ensuring climate security. International discussions on the direction of climate risk responses, including acknowledging cross-border and cascading risks in the GST decision (-/CMA.5, para. 52), are steadily progressing. Policy formation in the field of climate security must be linked to these discussions.
Progress on Climate Security at COP28 - A Declaration that Leads to Action
For the first time in COP, Climate security was named one of the agenda items at COP28. Notably, COP28 was the first time COP dedicated a day to Health, Relief, Recovery, and Peace, marking heightened global attention to climate security. I would like to spotlight two events closely associated with climate security during COP28.
A high-level event, "Climate Security Moment: Assuming Joint Leadership," hosted by the Munich Security Conference on December 1st, emphasised the critical need for global cooperation in tackling climate-related risks. The event featured high-level speakers, including the Prime Ministers of Estonia and Iceland, the NATO Secretary-General, and the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. The conversation transcended the oversimplified view of climate change as solely a matter of rising sea levels or extreme weather, delving deeper to critically and strategically assess the emerging security threats and risks posed by climate change on a global scale.
On December 3rd, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) orchestrated a thematic event, “Launch of the Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration”. Esteemed attendees, including the Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, Ministers from Norway and the Marshall Islands, alongside leaders from the Green Climate Fund and WFP, engaged in discussions regarding the significance of the "Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration." Released on the same day, this declaration garnered endorsement from over 70 countries, including Japan, and more than 40 international organisations. Its primary objective is to offer a comprehensive set of solutions to augment adaptation funds for regions confronted with conflict and susceptibility to the impacts of climate change.
The global drive for climate security is steadily gaining traction. Addressing the security risks posed by climate change demands proactive leadership from every nation, translating dialogue into actionable initiatives. Collaborative efforts among countries can directly contribute to resilient societies in the face of climate challenges and play a crucial role in humanitarian aid and peacebuilding efforts.
“Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace Declaration” https://www.cop28.com/en/cop28-declaration-on-climate-relief-recovery-and-peace
From G20 to COP28: Energy, Climate and Growth
I was invited by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a prominent think tank influential in India's foreign and security policy, and its energy and climate change policy, to attend the international conference "From G20 to COP28: Energy, Climate and Growth" at the Abu Dhabi Energy Center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on November 12.
The conference was meant to globally showcase the success of this year's Group of Twenty (G20) host country, India, and to pass the baton to the UAE, which is chairing the forthcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The meeting was opened by COP28 President-designate, and UAE's Special Envoy for Climate Change, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology. Since Minister Sultan is also the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), there are some in the West who question his appointment as COP President to discuss climate change. However, Minister Sultan is also the chairman of Masdar, one of the world's largest state-owned renewable energy companies.
The UAE developed its Energy Strategy 2050, which states that the country will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It has also developed National Hydrogen Strategy and aims to become the world's leading hydrogen exporter, producing 15 million tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen per year by 2050.
At the same time, in July 2023, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the UAE and signed a joint declaration of interest with President H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the establishment of the Energy Security and Industry Accelerator framework for the hydrogen, ammonia and renewable energy sectors.
Masdar is also a pioneer in the production of green hydrogen and is developing a global value chain. The appointment of Minister Sultan, who oversees both companies, as COP28 President is an appropriate choice for the face of COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE, a country that is shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy transition.
The conference was attended by about 100 representatives from developing and emerging countries in Asia and Africa located in the southern hemisphere, known as the Global South. Especially in the least developed countries, climate change is causing climate disasters such as torrential rains, floods, and droughts, resulting in food shortages due to crop failure and the emergence of climate refugees due to forced displacement from their familiar lands. Those most vulnerable to such disasters are women, children, the elderly, and other socially vulnerable groups. Participants at the conference voiced their concerns about the plight of these developing countries and called for support from developed countries.
At COP15, developed countries committed to mobilize USD 100 billion a year in public and private climate finance by 2020 for developing countries to combat climate change, but this was not achieved; at COP27, a decision was taken to establish a loss and damage fund to support loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change on developing countries, with details carried over to COP28.
At COP28, to be held from 30 November this year, it will be significant to see how far the oil-producing UAE, as the presidency, can take its leadership in advancing global decarbonisation and how far developed countries can agree to provide funds to support developing countries.
Summary of remarks by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber:
- At COP28, we are committed to climate action as an opportunity for growth and aim for an ambitious and balanced outcome through the Global Stocktake (GST).
- We will engage in open dialogue to resolve climate finance to make it available, accessible and affordable for the Global South.
- The still unfulfilled 14-year old USD 100 billion commitment must be fully implemented. Adaptation finance must be doubled and the fund for loss and damage must be fully operational.
Insights into Climate Induced Human Mobility in Bangladesh
Under the theme of climate induced human mobility within our ongoing project on the Asia Pacific Climate Security APCS initiative, we initiated our project activities with a field visit to Bangladesh between 30 October to 2 November, 2023. To comprehensively understand the intricate issue of climate induced human mobility, we conducted a preliminary visit to our study area in Koyra, Khulna district, Bangladesh. The main objective of this visit is to develop a robust hypothesis and research methodology based on the ground reality. We achieved this through a comprehensive household questionnaire survey and key informant interview using open ended questions. For the latter, we partnered with Unnayan, the largest NGO actively engaged in addressing climate security, human well-being and sustainable in this area.
For the household surveys, we visited both the regions severely affected by the climate crisis in Koyra and two informal settlements in Khulna where climate-affected people are relocated.
The household and focus group discussions gave us fundamental insights into the key drivers and pressures contributing to climate induced human mobility in this region. These discussions unveiled the associated risks that the local populations face. It is evident that the people in this region endure severe hardships due to extreme weather events induced by climate change such as typhoons and flooding. The gradual salinisation of groundwater aquifers, which is the only source of usable freshwater compounds their challenges. These issues are exacerbated by inadequate governance, inadequate resource management, lack of nexus approach, and insufficient coordination among key players responsible for addressing this critical matter. Crop failure, lack of livelihood, and lack of sufficient drinking water are the main percussions leading to poor well-being and mental stress, leading to migration and occupation shift.
We aim to establish a transdisciplinary team in collaboration with Khulna University to address the multifaceted challenge of climate-induced human mobility comprehensively.
Building a Climate for Peace and Solutions for Fragile Contexts: Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2023 (BCSC)
BCSC, co-hosted by the renowned German think tank adelphi and the German Federal Foreign Office, has been held annually since 2019. This year's meeting was held on 6 October, under the theme of "Building a Climate for Peace" and brought together policymakers and climate security experts from around the world.
The 2023 BCSC highlighted concrete actions for climate change mitigation and peacebuilding, emphasising initiatives and tools aimed at reducing risks, such as conflicts related to issues like food and water security, through climate change mitigation.
The need for fragile context climate measures, which aim to reduce conflict risks, was repeatedly underscored. It is vital to consider both the view that climate change can exacerbate conflict risks and the perspective that conflict risks can hinder climate change mitigation efforts. Many countries with high conflict risks are also vulnerable to climate change, and the international community must work together to break the vicious cycle between conflict and climate change.
The conference highlighted several examples from African countries which are heavily impacted by climate change and face elevated conflict risks due to various reasons. While drawing insights from concrete initiatives in Africa, it is essential to take action connecting climate change and peacebuilding in other regions. The Asia-Pacific region, which itself faces increased climate-related disasters and the threat of rising sea levels, would also benefit from incorporating climate security into its decision-making.
Three Approaches to Implementation
Climate security has an accumulation of prior initiatives and research across countries and regions. In this project, we will conduct an analysis and examination considering implications relevant to Japan, by prioritising the following approaches.
|A science-based policy approach
|This study carries out an assessment of the necessary policy approaches while identifying the reach and limitations of scientific knowledge on the impacts of climate change. For example, the movement of people partly due to climate change (sometimes referred to as 'climate refugees') is often recognised as a national security challenge as well as as a migration crisis issue in the developed countries that host them, but in reality, migration is overwhelmingly internal, and frequently unavoidable. In addition, making decisions that incorporate climate change predictions is challenging due to the handling of uncertainties in forecasts and the lack of sufficient data. With the understanding that this knowledge base is incomplete and subject to diverse interpretations, we contemplate how to make decisions related to national security.
|A multi-layered approach to security
|This study examines the concept of climate security, taking into consideration a multi-dimensional perspective that goes beyond traditional national security and includes aspects such as human security and economic security. We will also consider geopolitical perspectives, such as the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) initiative led by Japan and other countries. Furthermore, perspectives from the Global South, which includes many countries with relatively high vulnerability to climate risks, will become increasingly important in shaping security approaches in the future.
|Collaboration based on networks with institutions across countries
|IGES is committed to interdisciplinary and practical research that brings about societal transformations under the mission of developing global strategies for environmental issues.In this project, we will continue to emphasise co-creation with partners, formulating questions and deriving policy insights. At the same time, we will work to build an extensive network with relevant institutions in various countries through international teams with diverse academic backgrounds.We aim to conduct impactful research, considering the significance and limitations of introducing such an approach in terms of security-related issues and their impact on society.
Five Thematic Studies
This research will focus on five thematic areas:
1. energy security
2. food security
3. climate induced migration
4. climate change adaptation and humanitarian development
5. maritime security.
Through a combination of field research and analysis, we aim to elucidate the characteristics of these issues and potential responses. Stay tuned for forthcoming introductions to each of these themes.
We will provide cross-cutting insights into each of these themes and contribute to a clear understanding of climate security, which can sometimes seem elusive. Specifically, it offers suggestions to policymakers into whether introducing climate security as a new approach is beneficial and, if so, what possible approaches can be considered. While the emergence of climate risks and the promotion of measures to deal with them can contribute to conflict and confrontation, they can also provide an opportunity to promote international cooperation. IGES is committed to helping the international community move in such a cooperative direction.
IGES is looking forward to working with many partners in the future as a research institute for strategic research on climate security, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. We look forward to your broad interest and support.
- Policy Researcher
- Programme Director
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- Senior Policy Researcher
- Principal Policy Researcher
- IGES Fellow
- Policy Researcher
- Deputy Director & South Asia Regional Coordinator
- Policy Researcher
- Project Officer
- Senior Programme Coordinator
- Senior Communications Officer