Policy Briefs Books Journals

Policy Briefs on Climate Change and Conflict

Climate Change and Conflict

Finding a Regional Process to Address the Primary Security Threats to the South Pacific due to Climate Change

Policy Brief  No.121 - January, 2022 • By Ian Fry

This Policy Brief explores the nexus between climate change and security in the South Pacific and explores some key climate change-related trigger points that are driving security concerns in the Pacific. The combined effects of these trigger points are likely to drive displacement and forced migration away from Pacific Island countries. Regional security is further heightened by tensions between the US and China and their interests in protecting or exploiting fisheries resources in the region. Current regional organisations do not appear well placed to create an effective dialogue to resolve these climate change-related tensions, due to inherent biases. This Policy Brief explores the option of new collaborative arrangements between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Pacific Small Island Development States (PSIDS) as a means of creating a higher political authority to consider the threats posed by climate change and the opportunities to address these threats.

Climate Change and Conflict

Vanishing Homelands: Climate Security, Displacement and Human Rights: A Pacific Focus

Policy Brief  No.119 - November, 2021 • By Kirsten Davies and Emelia Caliskan

This Policy Brief examines the protection of climate-displaced people, highlighting the limitations and effectiveness of existing refugee frameworks. It recognises a shift in the factors driving human displacement, such as climate change, which are not limited to ‘the fear of persecution’, as has traditionally defined ‘refugees’. This Brief advocates for the implementation of a human rights-based framework to protect and preserve the life and dignity of those embarking on a relocation process, whether forced or voluntary. It discusses how displacement is impacting the Pacific Region which is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and is experiencing vanishing homelands due to rising sea levels. The conclusion offers a range of policy recommendations designed to assist Pacific states in the protection and support of climate-displaced persons and in the maintenance of peace and security.

Climate Change and Conflict Contemporary Peace Research and Practice

Warming to a New Definition and Call for Global Action: Humanity’s Security

Policy Brief  No.117 - October, 2021 • By Denise Garcia

This Policy Brief outlines a call for action that requires states to pool their resources, capacities and strengths for the common good of humanity to attain global public goods on a planetary scale.The world is in the throes of two classically defined global problems that confront humanity: climate change and a ruinous pandemic. Everyone is affected; only global solutions can solve them and a truly commonly agreed blueprint is needed not only to face ongoing threats, but to avoid the worst to come in the near future. Decisive joint action in the interests of all humanity is required. In the light of the stark losses incurred by the world economy as a consequence of both these problems, I argue that a new conceptualization of security must be embraced now: humanity’s security.

Climate Change and Conflict

Diaspora-led Dialogue: Climate Change Challenges to the Cultural Identity and Sovereignty of Pacific Atoll Nations

Summary Report  No.116 - October, 2021 • By Taukiei Kitara, James Bhagwan, Maina Talia, Enele Sopoaga, Anote Tong, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Tammy Tabe, Tereeao Teingiia-Ratite, Exsley Taloiburi, Yessie Mosby, Katerina Teaiwa, Peter Emberson, Ian Fry, Susan Harris-Rimmer, Simon Kofe, and Carol Farbotko

This Policy Brief is a report on two online forums and a later conference on the topic of Climate Change Challenges to the Sovereignty of Pacific Atoll Nations. The forums were held in 2020, and hosted by the Pacific Island Council of Queensland (PICQ) in partnership with Friends of the Earth Australia (FOE). In 2021, PICQ continued the dialogue, hosting an online conference on Climate Change Challenges to the Cultural Identity and Sovereignty of Pacific Atoll Nations. This report is co-written by many prominent and expert speakers who presented at these events. It concludes with arenas for action on which cultural identity and sovereignty must be pursued, all of which are important given the complex, multi-faceted natured of climate change.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament Climate Change and Conflict

Protecting the Planet’s Commons: Global Commons Law

Policy Brief  No.113 - August, 2021 • By Denise Garcia

This Policy Brief examines a tapestry of rules and norms which form an uncharacteristic branch of international law. This could be called global commons law, comprised of principles and norms forged by a vast mosaic of actors in shared stewardship and with a commonality of interests. Global commons law helps to sustain the absence of conflict and promotes cooperation, and partly explains the prevalence of endeavours towards cooperation. This branch of international law is unique as it does not ascribe rights and duties to states but to individuals and humanity. The state is not only a user and beneficiary, but it is also a guardian, and therefore has duties and responsibilities to ensure the preservation of these domains in which legal (sovereign) ownership is absent but which are characterised by peace instead of military confrontation.