Berlin, 11 October 2011
On 10-11 October the German Federal Foreign Office organised a conference on "Climate Diplomacy in Perspective: From Early Warning to Early Action" in Berlin. Participants from over 30 countries examined how foreign policy can contribute to climate diplomacy. Tom Spencer, IES Vice-Chair participated on behalf of the IES.
The conference was opened by Minister of State State Pieper who said that ?What we?re here to discuss are concrete existential threats that many people are already facing and which we now urgently need to tackle or at least reduce,? Minister Pieper noted at the opening of a conference on climate change at the Federal Foreign Office on 10 and 11 October. Under the motto "Climate Diplomacy in Perspective: From Early Warning to Early Action", participants from over 30 countries examined how foreign policy can contribute to climate diplomacy.
Three aspects of climate change will be a particular focus of attention: water resource management, global food security and rising sea levels that threaten coastal areas and low-lying island states.
In a video message to the conference, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP warned of the potentially destabilizing consequences of climate change and appealed for the international community to join forces to address this danger.
In the same vein, Minister of State Pieper called on participants to use the gathering for ?energetic network-building with other experts and diplomats? and ?to intensify cooperation in these areas of crucial importance for our future?.
She went on to explain that the conference was part of a series of activities the Federal Foreign Office had planned this year to highlight "the threat climate change is likely to pose to peace and security".
With a view to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Durban in November and December, Pieper noted that ?it would be most useful if we could draw up a set of recommendations for international action, especially in the regional organizations represented here today.?