The Netherlands has long been a champion of human and planetary security – including through its support of the Planetary Security Initiative. Similarly, the UK has a long history of pushing these agendas in international fora through the UNFCCC, Agenda 2030 and the UN Security Council. Both countries are now part of a coalition supporting the Resilience track as part of the Climate Action Summit that UN Secretary General António Guterres is organising in New York in September.
The climate-security agenda is fast evolving, with defence, diplomacy and development actors all stepping up their activities. In recent years as climate impacts have intensified, the science has become even more unsettling and public calls to action have grown louder. Particularly in the Netherlands and the UK, but increasingly in many other countries as well, climate change is included as key aspect in security risks analysis, including scenarios of the armed forces. With people on the streets of London calling for the Government to declare a Climate Emergency, the security implications of climate change and the need to build resilience are increasingly moving from a topic of government backrooms to a topic of public debate.
Here there are many opportunities for cross-fertilisation with the climate resilience agenda. At present the climate resilience and climate-related security risk agendas have developed in parallel. Through exploring opportunities for increased UK-Dutch cooperation there is an opportunity to deepen synergies and deliver outcomes that are greater than the sum of their parts at the UNSG’s Summit.
- General Tom Middendorp, Chair of the International Military Council on Climate & Security (IMCCS) & Senior Research Fellow, the Clingendael Institute
- Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, Honorary Professor and Director of Strategy at University College London
- Dr. Louise van Schaik, Head of Unit, Clingendael Institute and lead author of Climate Adaptation & Security paper for Global Commission on Adaptation
- Dr. Amiera Sawas, Senior Research and Policy Specialist, ActionAid UK
This event will take place during London Climate Action Week. It provides an opportunity for the Netherlands and the UK to showcase their evolving responses to dealing with the looming climate crisis and the climate-related security risk it brings, for the UK, the Netherlands and the broader European Neighbourhood and Commonwealth. It will also look ahead and pose the question of what appropriate responses to a Climate Emergency look like going forward and what this means for actions taken by the UK, the Netherlands and European actors more broadly.
The event is organised by E3G, the Clingendael Institute and the Planetary Security Initiative, in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the United Kingdom. The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception. Due to space constraints the event is invitation only with 60 seats available, but will be made available to the public via livestream.
We encourage policymakers, students, young professionals and journalists to get in touch to request an invitation.
Event contact: [email protected]