The linkages between climate change and security are high on the political agenda of international security bodies of the United Nations, the European Union and NATO. Recent scientific evidence shows that climate change will continue to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as the storms and flooding that recently devastated Pakistan and Thailand, and of droughts like that which emaciated millions on the Horn of Africa in 2011. In contrast to the strong scientific support for a direct causal relationship between climate change and individual human security, the relationship between changing environmental conditions and violent conflict remains largely ambiguous and lacks adequate empirical evidence.
This Global Governance Institute Briefing Paper argues that policymakers globally should work to address these proven, and urgent, human security implications of climate change, rather than its unclear implications on violent conflict. In this vein, GGI recommends particularly that Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: step up societal adaptation and resilience programs; urgently finalize work on the Green Climate Fund to provide sufficient resources to vulnerable populations in developing countries; and complete and implement National Adaptation Plans in developing countries to ensure financial resources are used effectively.
Focus areaEnvironment & Sustainable Development Read more Download
This paper critically investigates the lack of meaningful policy change towards agrofuels (or biofuels) in the wake of the food vs. fuel and environmental sustainability debates of 2007-08. The paper sketches the political economy of agrofuels Brazil, the EU and US before analyzing the effects of the food vs. fuel crisis on European agrofuels governance formation from a neo- Gramscian perspective. It is illustrated that before the food vs. fuel crisis provided critics a global audience, agrofuels programmes had been entrenched in agricultural policies by highly organized, well-funded capital interests. By offering a domestic, rural, agricultural alternative to fossil fuels, agrofuel proponents offered to make a business opportunity out of the fundamental problems of currently hegemonic, mobility, production and consumption systems. It was only with dramatic rise in food commodity prices over the course of 2007 and 2008 and subsequent space it discursively afforded a counter-hegemonic movement, that a truly global critical discussion of agrofuels came to fruition. The author concludes that despite rhetorical discursive shifts in understandings of the social and ecological sustainability of agrofuels, agrofuel production continues to be supported today as before because the agrofuels project was and remains a predominantly economically motivated endeavour.