Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2021

Explore this year´s conference summary here 

Rewatch all open sessions here. 

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Some highlights from the 2021 conference:
over 2500 participants, 31 partner organisations, 8 foreign ministers and state secretaries speaking, 114 speakers from around the world, high level to working-level, 2/3 of speakers women and 4 all-female panels, 22 sessions over 2 weeks
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Our 2021 partners
partners of the Berlin Climate and Security conference
Find out more about the Sessions of BCSC in 2021

View Full Agenda of BCSC 2021

BCSC 2021 Agenda:

Detailed information on all sessions, including access to recordings, can be accessed via the sub-menu on the left hand side. 






All partners and sessions, as well as their content, speakers, and moderation might still be subject to change.

Opening Session hosted by the Munich Security Conference & adelphi

Multilateral Momentum: An Agenda for Action on Climate, Peace, and Stability
27 September, 4-5 pm CET / 10-11 am EST

This high-level session kicked off the Berlin Climate and Security Conference 2021 and set out the need and value of a shared agenda for action to tackle threats to climate security and to better coordinate efforts to ensure that the collective progress is greater than the sum of its parts.

This session took place in form of a panel discussion. Through facilitated conversation, speakers outlined the imperative of systematic and joint multilateral action on climate, peace, and stability, and set out concrete steps to advance the climate security agenda. It set in motion a discussion process to engage multilateral actors around a shared climate security agenda that will be taken up at the 2022 Munich Security Conference.

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




  • Heiko Maas, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Germany


  • Benedetta Berti, Head of Policy Planning, Office of the Secretary General, NATO
  • Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme
  • Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
  • Raychelle Omamo, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya 

Closing session hosted by OSCE & adelphi

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.

Locally informed solutions: CSEN

Climate Security Around the World: Examples of Locally Informed Solutions. Live Podcast Recording.
1 October, 4:30-5:30 pm CET / 10:30-11:30 am EST

Around the world, climate change interacts with social, political, economic, and environmental drivers of conflict and fragility, thereby challenging the stability of states and societies, and undermining international security. This session was the first public live recording of the Climate Diplomacy Podcast!

In the Arctic, climate change is happening three times faster than the global rate. These changes present considerable risks: the region faces several climate change-related “tipping points” as well as geopolitical and militarization threats, all of which have major ramifications both for Indigenous communities and the international community at large. In the Southern African region, climate change is a central threat to the livelihood, security, and well-being. Food insecurity, forced migration, and stressed resources have emerged as human security issues, while more extreme weather events and increasing temperatures are undermining economic growth, health and productivity, livelihoods and employment, and thus national and regional stability. Across the Horn of Africa, climate change exacerbates existing pressures, including poverty, food insecurity, and population growth, despite the fact that the countries of the Horn have little to no control over global carbon emissions.

Without proper risk mitigation and climate adaptation efforts in these regions, the opportunities will likely be overshadowed by the destabilizing, compounding effects of climate change.

This session, provided by the Climate Security Expert Network, focused on climate security around the world and aimed to provide a deep-dive into climate fragility pathways in the Arctic, Southern Africa, and the Horn of Africa, as well as the importance of locally informed solutions to address them.

Watch a recording of the session here



  • Marisol Maddox, Arctic Analyst, Polar Institute, Wilson Center 
  • Ottilia Anna Maunganidze, Head of Special Projects - Office of the Executive Director, Institute for Security Studies
  • Sagal Abshir, Director of Development and Operations, The Clean Fight

Climate security practices: Clingendael Institute

Learning from Climate Security Practices and Bringing Them to Scale (closed event)
7 October, 3-4:30 pm CET / 9-10:30 am EST

During this roundtable, four representatives of the community of practice on climate security outlined key challenges they were confronted with in the design or implementation of their work and explained what they may expect others to encounter in this field. The roundtable was guided by the following question: In what way were the speakers able to overcome the challenges and what can we learn from their experiences?


  • Louise van Schaik, Head of Unit EU and Global Affairs and Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute


  • David Mozersky, President and co-founder, Energy for Peace Partners
  • Ayan Mahamoud, Senior Programme Coordinator, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
  • Nada Majdalani, Director of the Palestine Office, Ecopeace Middle East
  • Christophe Hodder, Somalia Climate Security Advisor, UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)

Climate security and mediation: EIP, Berghof Foundation & adelphi

Climate-related Security Risks as Opportunity for Mediation?
8 October, 3-3:45 pm / 9-9:45 am EST

This session featured an interview between Michael Keating (EIP), Janel Galvanek (Berghof Foundation), and Janani Vivekananda (adelphi). The discussion moved beyond the question how to integrate climate security into mediation and peacebuilding to exploring how climate and environmental insecurity can be made useful in conflict contexts to provide opportunities for mediation, dialogue, and peace work. 

Watch a recording of the session here


Monitoring and evaluation: ELI

Monitoring and Evaluation for Climate Security Interventions
30 September, 4-5:30 pm CET / 10-11.30 am EST

The objective of this session was to share the findings of an ongoing research project, conducted by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and EnPAx in partnership with the United States Institute for Peace, on the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of interventions at the intersection of environment, peace, and conflict. The session aimed to engage participants in a discussion about M&E for climate security interventions. Furthermore, the session highlighted approaches for M&E of climate security and environmental peacebuilding more broadly. After an introductory part, participants discussed and considered different approaches to the design and monitoring of climate security interventions, as well as approaches to evaluation and learning.

Watch a recording of the session here



  • Carl Bruch, Director of Programmes, Environmental Law Institute 
  • Amanda Woomer, Chair of M&E Interest Group, Environmental Peacebuilding Association 
  • Lukas Rüttinger, Senior Advisor, adelphi 

EU and civil society cooperation: EPLO

Peace Processes and Climate Change: How Should the European Union and Civil Society Co-operate for Sustainable Mediation Efforts?
30 September, 10:30-12 noon CET 

This session took place in form of a panel discussion with three speakers. It discussed how to enhance and strengthen partnerships between the European Union and civil society actors with respect to integrating climate change and its effects into mediation efforts, in order to help make the outcomes of peace processes more sustainable.

Watch a recording of the session here


  • Laura Davis, Senior Associate, Gender, Peace and Security, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office 


  • René van Nes, Head of Division, Conflict Prevention and Mediation Support (ISP.2), European External Action Service

  • Sebastian Kratzer, Project Manager for Analysis and Evaluation, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

  • Emma Whitaker, Peace and Conflict Advisor, Mercy Corps

Women, peace and security: GIWPS

State of the Field: Charting a Collective Agenda for Gender and Climate Security Research
5 October, 4-5:30 pm CEST / 10-11:30 am EST

The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time. The impacts of climate change inflame underlying political, social, and economic conditions, in some cases leading to forced displacement or provoking violent conflict. Research shows that climate-conflict risks are not gender-neutral, but exacerbate pre-existing vulnerabilities and patterns of discrimination. These same inequalities marginalize women and girls from participating in solutions. Thus, gender-responsive action on both climate and conflict is critical.

This roundtable convened top researchers from around the world working at the intersection of climate change, gender, and security. Speakers presented “flash presentations” of their main areas of research and identify what they see as the most urgent gaps in knowledge. The second half of the session featured a broader conversation on the state of the field, with the goal of identifying pathways toward accelerating meaningful progress.

Watch a recording of the session here


  • Cate Owren, Senior Gender Programme Manager, Global Programme on Governance and Rights, International Union for Conservation of Nature

  • Janet Edmond, Senior Director, Peace and Development, Center for Environment and Peace, Conservation International

  • Angie Daźe, Senior Policy Advisor and Gender Equality Lead, Resilience, International Institute for Sustainable Development

  • Mayesha Alam, Senior Fellow (Non-Resident), United Nations University Centre for Policy Research

  • Elizabeth Smith, Research Assistant, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

  • Hannah Elisabeth Kurnoth, Climate Security Analyst, adelphi

  • Jessica Smith, Research & Policy Manager, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security 

  • Marisa O. Ensor, Gender Interest Group, Environmental Peacebuilding Association

Customary and informal justice actors: IDLO

Reducing Climate-driven Instability and Conflict Over Land and Natural Resources: What Role for Customary and Informal Justice Actors?
6 October, 2-3 pm CET / 8-9am EST

Observable patterns of climate change already result in growing scarcities of arable land, water and other natural resources in countries from Afghanistan to Rwanda to Somalia. These scarcities tend to exacerbate the marginalization and vulnerability of women, young people, indigenous communities, and other populations experiencing systematic exclusion, aggravating existing injustices, but also fuelling competition over resources and increasing the risk of instability and violent inter- and intracommunal conflict.

In fragile contexts, everyday access to land, water and natural resources is often governed by customary and informal actors. These actors, ranging from traditional authorities to indigenous leaders to entrenched informal power-brokers, operationalize prevailing institutions and rules that are culturally-resonant and typically viewed as legitimate by local populations. These actors can be understood as customary and informal justice (CIJ) providers. While people often resort to CIJ providers because they are more proximate, faster and cheaper, CIJ providers are often rooted in established power relations and thus tend to reinforce existing conservative and patriarchal norms.

The panel discussed how equitable access to land and natural resources can be realized through legal empowerment of justice seekers and by strengthening the inclusiveness, responsiveness and accountability of CIJ mechanisms, fostering a stable and peaceful environment for sustainable development. Speakers drew on the experience of IDLO and other stakeholders in countries including Chad, Somalia, and Uganda.

Panelists engaged with the following key framing questions:

  • How does climate change affect access to land, water and natural resources for the most vulnerable and marginalized people in fragile and conflict-affected contexts?
  • How can justice seekers effectively demand, and CIJ actors provide, more inclusive, responsive and accountable justice services in ways that strengthen access to land, water and natural resources, especially for women, young people and indigenous communities?
  • How can CIJ providers contribute to preventing or reducing intra- and inter-communal conflict over land, water and natural resources?

Watch a recording of the session here



  • Bernadette Bakkidde, Director Access to Land Justice, LANDnet Uganda
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator, Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad; Board member of International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change
  • Julie Benmakhlouf, Rule of Law Specialist, IDLO

Climate security scenarios: IMCCS

Climate Security Scenarios for the Sahel: An Interactive Exercise (closed event)
6 October, 3-4 pm CET / 9-10am EST

This session focused on helping policymakers and practitioners think through how physical hazards arising from climate change will shape security risks in the Sahel. This interactive scenarios exercise helped to identify which factors are most important and most uncertain in determining the climate security risk landscape during the next five years.  As the OECD Schooling for Tomorrow program outlines, scenarios are, “tools to help us explore different ways the future might unfold, so that we may form a shared vision, develop strategies, and create high-impact policies to be implemented now.”

Participation was by invitation only.

This interactive exercise is part of the multidisciplinary research project Weathering Risk.

Exercise Facilitators

  • Rod Schoonover, Head, Ecological Security Program, Council on Strategic Risks
  • Erin Sikorsky, Director, Center for Climate and Security

Water: IHE Delft/Water, Peace and Security Partnership

Moving From Analysis to Action: How to Get Policy-makers at Different Governance Levels to Conflict Prevention Action
4 October, 4-5 pm CET / 10-11am EST

This event focused on how to move from identifying water- and climate-related conflict risks and forecasting current and future climate and water conflict hotspots to designing and implementing conflict prevention and mitigating action. Its main aim was to investigate how the various analytical tools available for understanding climate and water security risks can be used in an effective and targeted manner to not only inform but to actually trigger action on the ground – by actors from the local, national, and international level. It did so by discussing how different analytical tools available have already or can in the future guide climate and water security interventions, ultimately calling for moving from analysis to action.

Watch a recording of the session here



  • Ikal Angelei, Co-founder and director, Friends of Lake Turkana

  • Christophe Hodder, Somalia Climate Security Advisor, UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)

  • Karen Meijer, Specialist climate-water scarcity-social impacts, Deltares

UN General Assembly Stream: Denmark

Climate, Peace, and Stability, Lessons Learned from Sahel and Small Island Development States
8 October, 4:30-5:30 pm CET / 10:30-11:30 EST

There is increasing evidence that climate change is compounding security risks in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas of the world and makes peace harder to achieve or sustain. Research conducted so far, has largely focused on Africa and the Middle East, especially the Sahel region. However, this does not mean that the climate-security nexus does not affect other fragile states. This session brought together experiences from the Sahel region and Small and Developing Island States (SIDS) to explore the effects of climate change on security related issues and context appropriate responses to these risks.

While there is increasing research on the issue of climate and security, there are still significant knowledge gaps. This event was hosted by the Foreign Ministry of Denmark and took place 23 September 2021 during the 76th UN General Assembly week. It discussed in which areas more research is needed in order to combat climate related security issues and aims to advance better policies and practices on climate change, peace, and stability. Furthermore, it enabled the wider public to peek behind the curtains of the otherwise closed UN General Assembly week. 

Watch a recording of the session here


  • Adam Day, Director of Programmes, Centre for Policy Research, United Nations University



Next strategic concept: NATO

NATO’s Next Strategic Concept: What Role for Climate Security? (closed event)
29 September, 4-5:30 pm CET / 10-11:30 am EST

Over the next year, NATO will develop a new Strategic Concept—a key document setting the Alliance’s overall strategy and laying out the principles for its future adaptation. This closed-door roundtable focused on discussing what role climate security should play in the context of this broad exercise. How should the Alliance define climate change and its impact on Euro-Atlantic security and defence? And how should this understanding inform NATO’s broader strategy, approach to security, and contribute to shape its evolution?

Energy: Permanent Missions of Mali, France, Norway and the United Arab Emirates to the UN and Powering Peace

Renewable Energy and MINUSMA
6 October, 4-5:30 pm CET / 10-11:30 EST

Mali and MINUSMA face some of the world’s highest energy costs, as well as supply line vulnerabilities from transport of diesel across hundreds of miles.  Renewable energy, now the cheapest power source in Mali and most countries, presents significant opportunities to address these challenges, as well as reduce carbon emissions and potentially leave a positive infrastructure legacy for host communities from the mission’s deployment.

This special virtual discussion – hosted by the Permanent Missions of Norway, the United Arab Emirates, France and Mali to the UN and Powering Peace (a partnership between Energy Peace Partners and the Stimson Center) which brought together MINUSMA leadership, relevant UN departments, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and interested Member States to evaluate options for renewable energy integration. 

The event also occured in the context of the UN Security Council's consideration of MINUSMA's mandate renewal, which recognizes climate's relevance to the mission, and the UN's ambitious internal goals around climate. As a baseline, the event presented Powering Peace’s just-released report "From Power to Peacebuilding in Mali: How MINUSMA's Opportunity to Bridge the Gap", on MINUSMA’s energy situation, and outlined potential next steps based on security, technical, and financial viability. The discussions also considered MINUSMA’s contribution toward the UN Secretariat’s overall 80% renewable energy target by 2030.

The event was part of a series of workshops and panels in 2021 and 2022 on renewables implementation in specific security contexts and broader UN peace operations.

Watch a recording of the session here


  • Hans Olav Ibrekk, Director Section for Energy, Climate and Food Safety, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway

  • Nawal Al Hosany, Permanent Representative to IRENA, United Arab Emirates


Data: PIK

Making Sense of Climate Data for Peacebuilding
1 October, 3-4 pm CET / 9-10 am EST

It is well established that climate change impacts can pose risks to peace by undermining human security and increasing the impacts of other drivers of conflict and fragility. Thanks to a growing availability of high-quality data and computational capacities, our ability to enhance the understanding of the complex, context-specific impacts of climate change on current and future security risks is also growing. Providing practitioners with data-driven insights about the full range of those impacts is crucial in order to improve anticipatory action to avoid and reduce those risks.

In this panel discussion, speakers presented climate data products from the AGRICA Project, which provides accessible climate information for operational responses. Furthermore, the session discussed its contribution and suitability towards achieving risk informed operations with practitioners.

Guiding questions of this session included:

  • What are the underlying quantitative approaches of the  platform (AGRICA)  and how are the climate information products intended to be used?
  • How suitable is this platform to improve anticipatory action?

Watch a recording of the session here


  • Barbora Sedova, FutureLab (Co-)Leader, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


  • Christoph Gornott, Working Group Leader, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Mouhamadou Issa Lele, Hydromet and Climate Services/ Early warning specialist, UNDP & Mali Meteo
  • Markus Mayer, Head of Competence Center Peace and Emergency Aid, GIZ

Women, peace and security: UNEP/UN Women

Climate Change, Peace, and Security: Understanding Risk Through an Integrated Lens (Interactive Group Exercise)
29 September, 3-4 pm CET / 9-10am EST

Conducting sound integrated analysis is an essential first step to designing programmes, policies, and strategic plans that address climate-related security risks using a gender-responsive and conflict sensitive approach. This session presented a new e-learning course – developed jointly by UNEP, adelphi, the Climate Security Mechanism, and UN Women – that lays the foundation for understanding the interlinkages between climate change, peace, security, and social and gender-based inclusion. It provides participants with the knowledge and practical tools to conduct integrated analysis of contexts affected by climate change and insecurity, and to design policies, plans, and programmatic interventions to prevent and manage resulting risks.  

This interactive workshop adapted e-learning material for a live, virtual format. In a short one-hour session, participants will be presented with different pieces of data – including field interviews, climate data, and conflict analysis – to assess the linkages between climate change, security, and gender/social inclusion in a specific scenario and identify entry points for integrated action.


Human mobility, food security, women, peace and security: UNSSC Coffee Hour Sessions

UNSSC Coffee Hour Sessions


Human Mobility, Climate Change and Conflict: Identifying Sustainable Responses
27 September, 3-4pm CET / 9-10am EST

This panel discussion addressed the links between migration, displacement, climate change, and conflict with the aim of highlighting and calling for sustainable responses to address the needs of migrants, refugees, and local communities.

New Security Beat reported on this with a summary of the discussion, which you can find here.

Watch a recording of the session here


  • Ginevra Cucinotta, Learning Portfolio Manager, United Nations System Staff College 


  • Andrew Harper, Special Advisor to the High Commissioner for Climate Action, UNHCR 
  • Beatrice Mosello, Senior Analyst, adelphi
  • Majd Al Naber, Team Leader & Senior Researcher Sustainable Development, West Asia- North Africa Institute


Food Insecurity, Climate Change and Conflict Sensitivity: Identifying Sustainable Pathways for Peacebuilding
28 September, 3-4pm

This panel discussion addressed the links between food insecurity, conflicts, and climate change, highlighting practitioners’ best practices for mitigating climate risks and supporting peacebuilding activities.


  • Ginevra Cucinotta, Learning Portfolio Manager, United Nations System Staff College 


  • Paul Opio, Livestock Officer, Resilience Team, Eastern Africa, Food and Agriculture Organisation 
  • Adam McVie, Programme Policy Officer - Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation, World Food Programme
  • Stephen Abura,Program Manager at karamoja Agro-Pastoral Development Programme, KADP



Building inclusive resilience to climate-related security risks 
4 October, 3-4pm

This panel discussed how to integrate a gender/age lens into climate and conflict analyses in order to accurately assess the distinct vulnerabilities people of different identities face and provide tools and lessons for translating analysis into programming or policy solutions that contribute to peacebuilding, inclusion and climate action goals. During the fireside chat format conversation, practitioners shared learnings from the UNICEF Child vulnerability index, a case study on water dispute in Lebanon, and lessons from UNEP’s climate-security programmes in Sudan.


  • Ginevra Cucinotta, Learning Portfolio Manager, United Nations System Staff College


  • Molly Kellogg, Gender, Climate, and Security Advisor, United Nations Environmnent Programme
  • Nur Turkmani, Senior Research Associate, Economic Development Solutions
  • Anna Azaryeva Valente, Global Lead for Conflict Prevention, Fragility and Peacebuilding, UNICEF

UNU-CPR, Berghof and adelphi Session

Women, Peace, and Security’ and Climate Change at the UN: Lessons-Learned, Synergies, and Opportunities (closed event)
28 September, 4-5:30pm CET / 10-11:30 am EST

This interactive dialogue was organised in partnership by adelphi, UNU-CPR, and the Berghof Foundation. It brought together Member States, UN agencies, practitioners, and civil society to define challenges and identify solutions to better integrate the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and Climate Change (CC) agendas at the UN, with an eye towards mitigating risk, preventing conflict, and building resilience.

The first part of the event consisted of a panel discussion, in which experts touched upon the gendered impacts of climate change, especially in conflict contexts, and how UN bodies as well as national policies and programmes can better address the nexus between gender, climate and security. In the second part, participants were asked to share their experience in a number of break-out sessions, towards informing a collaborative research publication that offers targeted recommendations to UN agencies and Member States for moving forward effectively and inclusively.

Opening and Closing Remarks



  • Mayesha Alam, Senior Fellow, UNU-CPR
  • Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 
  • Brian Walsh, Senior Climate Resilience lead, World Bank
  • Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Co-Chair Global Fund for Women & Regional Manager - Shifting the Power Coalition (Pacific)

Climate security in the US: Wilson Center

All Systems Go: Integrating Climate Security across the U.S. Government
1 October, 2-3 pm CET / 8-9 am EST 

One of President Biden’s first actions as he took office in January 2021 was to lean in through executive direction and the issuance of executive orders to address the climate crisis. A key feature of those efforts is to ensure the integration of climate change across U.S. government portfolios, including national security and foreign policy. The President has made clear his intention for U.S. government agencies to coordinate both within and across their portfolios to make that happen. In practice, that will be a challenging lift for an organization as complex, large, and diverse as the U.S. government. The successful integration of climate change policy considerations and the development of integrated operational responses that reflect meaningful coordination across agencies requires a reorientation of how the U.S. conceives of security (both at home and abroad), international development, and diplomacy.

In this panel discussion, representatives from the NSC, USAID, State Department, and NOAA, shared perspectives as agencies with different mandates but a shared goal of climate resilience in a stable world. Recognizing that integration and coordination are both essential and difficult, panelists shared insights on their respective agency climate security priorities and an update on ongoing and planned efforts to address climate security in the U.S. and with partners around the world.

New Security Beat reported on the panel discussion with an extensive summary, which you can find here.

Watch a recording of the session here 


  • Lauren Risi, Project Director, Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson Center


  • Jennifer DeCesaro, Director for Climate Security and Resilience, U.S. National Security Council

  • Stephanie Epner, Senior Advisor on Climate Change and Foreign Policy, Office of the Special Envoy For Climate Change, U.S. Department of State

  • Roger Pulwarty, Senior Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency

  • Gillian Caldwell, Agency Climate Change Coordinator and Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development 

Food Security: WFP & CGIAR

Brown-bag Lunch: The Climate Security Nexus in Ethiopia
29 September, 1-1:30 pm CET / 7-7:30 am EST

Ethiopia is a hotspot of high climate variabilities, high political insecurity, conflicts, and widespread food and nutrition insecurities across its populations.

This session discussed the following questions:

  • Is climate exacerbating existing threats that could increase the risk of conflict in Ethiopia? 
  • Are areas of high climate variability correlated to high socio-political insecurity in Ethiopia?
  • How can evidence inform programming and policy to target existing risks and insecurities that could be exacerbated by climate change?


  • Dr. Peter Läderach, Principal Climate Scientist, CGIAR/WFP

Environmental degredation; WWF

Connecting the Dots on Conflict, Environmental Degradation, and Climate Change in the Colombian Amazon
30 September, 3-4 pm CET / 9-10 am EST

This event launched and discussed the findings of the first report connecting conflict dynamics, environmental degradation, and climate change in the Colombian Amazon, published by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF).

The report was produced in close cooperation with six Colombian NGOs and National Parks. It analysed how the conflict developments after the signing of the Peace Accords drive deforestation and natural resource exploitation in the Amazon region, why the governmental responses were not able to resolve this multidimensional crisis, and how this threatens environmental defenders and local communities. The panel presented and discussed the multidimensional roadmap of possible short- and long-term solutions, highlighting existing good practice of protecting people and ecosystems that needs to be strengthened. It also focused on the role that international actors can play to support this.

Watch a recording of the session here



  • Alexander Bocanegra, President, Indigenous Community San Vicente del Caguán
  • Rodrigo Botero, Director, Fundación Conservación y Desarrollo Sostenible
  • Juan Garzon, Research Associate, Fundación Ideas para la Paz
  • Julia Gorricho, Project Manager South America, WWF Germany
  • Lukas Rüttinger, Senior Advisor, adelphi



ZIF Session: Partnershop for Peace

Climate Security Partnerships for Peace? How UN, EU, and AU Could Align Efforts and Missions: The Case of Somalia
5 October, 3-4 pm CET / 9-10am EST

Climate and Environmental Security are becoming an important issue for peace operations – both related to mandate delivery, as well as to the ecological footprint of missions. Currently, the EU and the UN are working on a new joint guidance for their missions, which will include climate security and seeks to establish a link to AU missions. Moreover, missions also need to foster partnerships with local actors on climate and environmental issues. In this session, we looked at recent experiences and concrete examples from Somalia where UN, EU, and the AU are running missions in parallel.

Watch a recording of the session here


  • Tobias Pietz, Deputy Head Analysis Division, Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF)
  • Sharon Wiharta, Senior Policy Advisor on Peace Operations, Challenges Forum International Secretariat (CFIS)