US-Canada to work to address climate–fragility risks

US President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau issued a joint statement on climate, energy and arctic leadership on 10 March.

The statement recognises the links between climate change, state fragility and national security – as laid out in the report A new climate for peace, commissioned by the G7 and co-authored by International Alert.

Both leaders agreed to continue to cooperate internationally to address these challenges throughout their defence, diplomacy and development policies, and specifically through the G7 working group, which was established to take forward the findings of our research. The text from the agreement reads:

"Recognizing the particular impact of climate change on countries already dealing with conflict and fragility, the leaders commit to addressing the intersection of climate change and security as an issue for foreign, defense, and development policies. Through the G7 working group on climate and security and elsewhere, both sides will work together to support sound analysis, practical recommendations, and meaningful cooperation to address climate–fragility risks."

This statement comes on the back of sustained work by Alert and our partners to provide clear and policy-relevant information on the way in which climate change will affect peace and security. At last year’s G7 meeting in Germany, the foreign ministers endorsed a report they commissioned from an international consortium of research organisations, including Alert, on climate-related security and stability issues.

G7 foreign ministers come together next in April in Japan, and Alert and our research partners hope our report will provide the information and guidance required to maintain the energy of the initiative to promote peaceful responses to tackling climate change.

For more on G7 cooperation on climate change and fragility, read A new climate for peace and visit the online toolkit at www.newclimateforpeace.org. This project is a joint initiative with adelphi, the Wilson Center and the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

You can find out more about our work on this topic here.

Photo: Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House © PMO Photo by Adam Scotti