Comprehensive Security to Weather the Storm: Regional Responses to Sustaining Peace in a Changing Climate
7 October, 4:30-5:30 pm CET / 10:30-11:30 am EST 

This high-level virtual event looked at what key regional and national institutions (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, the Government of Ireland, and the African Union) are already doing to advance a comprehensive approach to security in the face of a changing climate. It also discussed what lessons can be drawn (from across regions and institutions), and what next steps could look like.

Through a moderated Davos style conversation, the panellists shared concrete examples of what their respective institutions are doing to advance peace and tackle climate-related security risks through comprehensive, multidimensional security and peace-oriented approaches.

From integrating climate into early warning tools and conflict prevention and peace programming to addressing climate and security issues at the political and operational levels, and from engaging diverse stakeholders in climate projects  to effectively integrating climate-related security risks into UN mission mandates, the panel discussed the opportunities and pitfalls to advancing a multidimensional approach to address climate-related security risks. Speakers shared experiences, discussed assessment, planning and operational lessons, and explored what additional knowledge and capacity is required going forward.

This closing session of the BCSC aimed to give actors from the security, peacebuilding, and foreign policy sphere an opportunity to exchange, identify common challenges, develop and discuss solutions, create synergies, and present the multiple ways in which they address and tackle climate-related security risks. It was be co-hosted by the OSCE and adelphi. 

Rewatch the high-level closing event of the Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2021


  • Hinrich Thölken, Director Climate and Energy Policy and Digital Transformation, German Federal Foreign Office


Closing Remarks

  • Niels Annen, Minister of State, German Federal Foreign Office



Speaker Biographies

Helga Maria Schmid is Secretary General of the OSCE. Helga has held several prominent positions in the German diplomatic service and with the European Union. She was Secretary General for the European External Action Service prior to her current appointment.

General Robert Kibochi is Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces. He has held various command and staff appointments including his immediate former appointment as Commander of the Kenya Army and Assistant Chief of Defence Forces, amongst many others.

Robert Mardini is Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Previously, he led the ICRC Water & Habitat unit. In his current role, he oversees and provides strategic guidance for the ICRC’s humanitarian operations across nine delegations in the Near and Middle East, with a special focus on the Syrian armed conflict and its regional consequences.

Sinéad Walsh is Ireland’s Climate Envoy since 2020. Prior to this she served as the EU Ambassador to South Sudan. She has worked for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs since 2009. She was a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in 2016/17.