The Hague Declaration supports activities which encourage the creation of an institutional home for climate security within the UN, for example by appointing a special envoy for ‘climate security’ or establishing a unit within the UN Secretary-General's office
Action Area 1
Creating an Institutional Home for Climate Security
Climate change is increasingly recognised as a key factor contributing to global insecurity and conflict. Although the potential impacts of climate-related events on security are widely known, concrete and joint action in tackling climate-related security risks is only starting to take momentum. While the links between climate and security are global in nature, there is currently no institution that is systematically assessing climate-security risks or coordinating actions on these risks at the international level.
What the Hague Declaration is calling for
Overview of progress made on Action Area 1
Responsibilities for climate-related security risks still fall across different institutions within the United Nations systems with no single entity responsible for coordinating activities on joint risk assessment or risk management assistance. But since the launch of the Hague Declaration, the signatories of the Declaration brought climate-security before the United Nations Security Council at several occasions, and the links between climate, peace and security gained more prominence at the European level.
In March 2018, the United Nations Security Council, chaired by the Netherlands, adopted Resolution 2408 recognising the adverse effects climate change has on the stability of Somalia and emphasising the need for adequate risk assessments and risk management strategies. In July 2018, Hague Declaration signatory Sweden chaired the United Nations Security Council debate on climate-related security risks. The meeting discussed the relationship between climate change and conflict in two of the focus regions of the Hague Declaration, Lake Chad and Iraq.
On 25 January 2019 the Dominican Republic with support of Germany took over the torch of drawing attention to climate and security chairing an open debate in the United Nations Security Council on the impacts of climate-related disasters on security.
Significantly, three entities of the UN family in 2018 were tasked to start looking after how climate-security risks can be better taken into account in UN activities, and this so-called mini-mechanism could grow further in the future. A combined effort by DPA, UNDP and UN Environment, is now working to look after the climate-security nexus across the UN system and provide relevant inputs into policy, strategy and operational processes. Among UN member countries the Group of Friends on climate and security has been established, bringing together 27 nations with the aim to enhance actions on climate-related security risks within the United Nations system.
At the European level, the Hague Declaration was highlighted in the EU Council Conclusions on Climate Diplomacy as an example of how to translate climate and security analysis into action. In June 2018, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini hosted a high level event on Climate, Peace and Security: The Time for Action.
The work on creating an institutional home for climate security within the United Nations system will continue to gain momentum, for example a high-level conference on climate and security will take place in Berlin in June 2019.
In addition to the progress which has been made on climate and security at the international and European level since the launch of the Hague Declaration, there are projects and initiatives underway translating the progress at the policy level into actions on the ground.