Related News & Events

5 min read
03 Jun

This section contains news and events related to climate change and international security, NATO 2030, and issues covered in the NCWES report.

Readers are welcome to comment at the end of the page.

“Preparing the Common Security and Defence Policy for the new security environment created by climate change”

Brussels, 16 June 2021

The all day meeting of the European Parliament SEDE Subcommittee on Security and Defence on Wednesday, 16 June, included a session beginning at 13:45 on The EU’s Climate Change and Defence Roadmap and a presentation of the study on Preparing the Common Security and Defence Policy for the new security environment created by climate change – with Arnout MOLENAAR, Head of Division, Security and Defence Policy, European External Action Service (EEAS) and Prof. Christoph MEYER, Professor of European & International Politics, King’s College, London.

>>> Watch the recording here >>>

EU - U.S. Summit Statement stresses commitment to tackle climate change

Brussels, 15 June 2021

"The EU-US summit on 15 June 2021 marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partnership and set a joint agenda for EU-US cooperation in the post-pandemic era. The leaders committed to regular dialogue to take stock of progress" according to a summary of the key results of the summit released by the European Council.

On the subject of "Protecting our planet and fostering green growth" summary says that "The EU and the US are committed to the Paris Agreement and its effective and strengthened implementation. To provide an effective platform for cooperation in this regard, the leaders committed to establishing an EU-US High-Level Climate Action Group."

The summary quotes from the joint statement which says that "We intend to lead by example by becoming net-zero greenhouse gas economies by no later than 2050 and implementing our respective enhanced 2030 targets / Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). We resolve to engage with our international partners to achieve an ambitious outcome at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), making every effort to keep a 1.5-degree limit on global temperature within reach."

Other key points highlighted in the summary include:

  • "The leaders committed to rapidly scaling up technologies and policies that further accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity and to an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system in the 2030s, consistent with the EU’s and the US’s respective 2030 NDCs and 2050 net-zero commitments."
  • "The leaders resolved to increase their cooperation on transition towards a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular economy. They intend to work towards a Transatlantic Green Technology Alliance that would foster cooperation on the development and deployment of green technologies, as well as to promote markets to scale such technologies." and
  • "The EU and the US are very determined to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and take urgent action to address its drivers. The leaders committed to the goal of conserving or protecting at least 30% of global land and 30% of global oceans by 2030. They share the goal of jointly promoting a successful and ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference of the Parties (COP15). Furthermore, the leaders committed to working together to protect the world’s oceans, including by combating marine litter.

In Part II of the of U.S.-EU Summit Statement, the two sides stress their commitment to "Protect our planet and foster green growth". Specifically, the document states that "Climate change, environmental degradation, and the loss of biodiversity are mutually-reinforcing, extraordinary threats to humanity. We plan to continue and strengthen our cooperation to tackle climate change, environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity, promote green growth, protect our oceans, and urge ambitious action by all other major players."

The joint statement also says both are "determined to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and take urgent action to address its drivers." and to work "together to protect our oceans." Concerning the far North the statement declares that "We resolve to work together to retain the Arctic as a region of peace and stability and collaborate, in particular through the Arctic Council, to ensure a clean habitat and constructive cooperation on climate change, environmental protection, and sustainable economic development benefiting the region’s inhabitants."

The statement ends with the a final sentence which reads: "We reaffirm our unwavering support for robust NATO-EU cooperation and to the commitments outlined and principles enshrined in the 2016 and 2018 Joint Declarations.  We will work jointly to raise the level of NATO-EU ambition in order to further strengthen this mutually reinforcing key strategic partnership."

>>> Read the full statement >>>

Nato considers net zero by 2050 target in move to green military operations

Joe Biden has put the hefty – and underreported – carbon footprint of tanks and fighter jets on the transatlantic security agenda

Brussels, 15 June 2021

In Climate Homes News, Joe Lo, wrote that "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) will consider a target to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, taking on the energy-guzzling machines of modern warfare" adding that "At a Brussels summit on Monday, the leaders of Nato countries asked Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to “assess the feasibility” of such a target."

"The target will apply to Nato’s operations around the world, mainly in Europe with some in Turkey, Afghanistan and the USA. It will not apply to member countries’ militaries, but could provide a blueprint for similar action".

Doug Weir, research and policy director of the Conflict and Environment Observatory is quoted in the article saying: “Nato deserves some credit for this. It’s great that the issue of military emissions is finally on the international agenda. It’s a topic that has been ignored for too long.”

>>> Read the full article >>>

Nato and climate change: How big is the problem?

Brussels, 14 June 2021

According to a BBC report "The world's most powerful defence alliance agreed on Monday to step up efforts to tackle climate change for the first time". Reporting on the NATO Summit held on 14 June, the article said that "Nato - the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - said its members have pledged to "significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from military activities" in a way that does not impact personnel safety or the effectiveness of their operations".

>>> Read the full article >>>

ESA-SatCen Workshop on Climate Security

Brussels, 14 June 2021 

The challenge posed by the understanding of climate security scenarios that make use of state-of-the-art EO data and technologies invites experts in different fields to join forces with the objective of identifying how to make the best use of current resources to answer the needs of policy and decision makers in different security areas.

The workshop, jointly organised by the European Space Agency and the European Union Satellite Centre, will consider some priority instances of climate change driven security concerns.

Click here for more information about the workshop.

The new challenge for NATO: Securing a climate-changed world

Ahmet Uzumcu, Tacan Ildem, and Fatih Ceylan, New Atlanticist, 20 April 2021

After returning the United States to the Paris Agreement, US President Joe Biden invited forty world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate that he will host virtually on April 22 and 23. The summit comes as world leaders gear up for the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) this November in Glasgow.

>>> Read the full article >>>

NATO works to create its action plan in follow up to the NATO policy document on climate change and security recently adopted by NATO foreign ministers

Brussels, 23 March 2021

See: “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the start of the NATO Foreign Ministers' meetings”. NATO. 23 March 2021

About the NATO 2030 Initiative

In December 2019, the NATO Allied nations' leaders invited NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, to lead a forward-looking reflection to strengthen NATO's political dimension. The Secretary-General will put forward recommendations to NATO Leaders when they meet at the next NATO Summit on 14 June 2021. To inform the Secretary General's recommendations with a wide variety of views and fresh thinking, NATO is engaging actively with Allied nations, experts, public and private stakeholders, and young leaders.
The NATO 2030 initiative was launched by the Secretary-General on 8 June 2020. Since then, NATO has been organising a series of thematic events to engage more in-depth with civil society, advocacy, and expert groups. These focus on the topics of climate and security, human security, economic security, and democracy.

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