Policy Brief No 29 - November, 2018
“Climate-induced migration” is often perceived as potentially leading to political instability and violence, and thus, as critical. Oceania is considered a prime example for this assumed linear causality, since sea level rise and other effects of anthropogenic climate change are threatening to displace large numbers of people in the region. The policy brief scrutinises this perception by critically engaging with the securitization of climate-induced migration in the Pacific region, with a particular interest in who defines what a crisis is, when and where. Its central claim is that without contextualised knowledge of the relevant power structures which determine a) who defines what can be considered a (migration) crisis, b) how human mobility challenges pre-established ideas of citizenship, belonging and national identity, and c) how climate change figures in these topical fields and political processes, we cannot fully understand the potential effects of climate-induced migration.
Policy Brief No 27 - November, 2018
The Toda Peace Institute and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Otago, New Zealand) organised an international workshop, “Climate Change and Conflict in the Pacific: Prevention, Management and the Enhancement of Community Resilience” in Auckland, New Zealand, from 28 to 30 September 2018. The workshop brought together international experts on climate change, security policymakers and local peacebuilding practitioners and civil society actors in the Pacific. The workshop was attended by 34 men and women from Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Countries. During a three-day conversation they addressed the local and international challenges and potential conflict linkages posed by climatic uncertainty in Oceania. The key goal of the workshop was to set a framework for research that informs policy, promotes both vertical and horizontal dialogue between researchers, governments and social agencies and people in the region, and produces real-world initiatives to address one of the region’s most pressing issues—climate change.
Policy Brief No 20 - September, 2018
This review investigates the climate change problem at a global level, specifically temperature limits and how much carbon we can burn globally to avoid reaching a point at which global temperature increase cannot be stopped by further human action due to ecological feed-back effects (such as polar ice melting and permafrost areas releasing methane). The Pacific Region is discussed in the global context, particularly the Pacific involvement in setting temperature limits and the specific vulnerabilities of the island nations. A review is given of the Pacific Island Countries Second National Communications (SNCs) and the Initial Nationally Determined Contribution or INDCs submitted to the Paris Agreement. It is concluded that the position of the Pacific nations is becoming more fragile every year with serious problems ahead.
Policy Brief No 19 - September, 2018
Climate change is increasingly recognised as a security issue. It has been discussed at the UN Security Council, it features in national security strategy documents of more than half of the world’s states, and a wide range of think tank and academic publications point to the intersection between climate change and security. This does not mean, however, that there is consensus about the climate - security relationship or the desirability of linking the two. Some theorists working in the broad tradition of critical security stud-ies were important voices in pointing to the security implications of climate change, while others (perhaps paradoxically) urged caution in linking climate and security. In this sense it’s fair to say there’s no single ‘critical security studies’ perspective on the climate - security nexus, just as there is no single ‘critical security studies’ perspective in general. Critical security studies can be defined (broadly) as scholarship concerned with developing a critique of traditional approaches to security; examining the politics of security; and exploring the ethical as-sumptions and implications of particular security discourses and practices (see Browning and McDonald 2013). This brief provides an introduction to what Critical Security Studies has to offer in understanding and guiding practice on the climate change - security nexus. It suggests that analysis consistent with the critical security studies tradition can be (and has been) brought to bear on the climate change - security nexus by examining the scope of security threats; exploring the contested meanings of ‘climate securi-ty’; and engaging key questions and dilemmas associated with linking the two, in theory and practice. It also provides a brief illustration of the utility of a critical security studies perspective when approach-ing the relationship between climate change and armed conflict, and concludes with policy recommen-dations.
Policy Brief No 18 - August, 2018
It is clear that climatic events can have immediate impacts on human security (health, livelihood, food security), but does climate change also constitute a direct threat to peace, security and societal stability? This report discusses three aspects of relevance to the larger debate on the nexus between climate change, violent conflict and security: (i) the evident concentration of armed conflict in environmentally fragile regions; (ii) the scientific evidence base for a causal relationship between adverse climatic changes and armed conflict; and (iii) the role of climate-related security threats in a comparative perspective.