Security and climate change: Fixing the missing links?

A joint event by the Centre for International Security at the Hertie School and the United Nations Association of Germany.

Climate change is increasingly considered a security threat with potentially far-reaching implications for the geostrategic environment. Through large-scale migration, increased border tensions, and greater demands for rescue and evacuation efforts, climate change potentially impacts the individual security of people and the viability of vulnerable states to an extent that exceeds existing disaster-response capabilities. As a result, Germany has announced that one focus of its membership in the United Nations Security Council will be on climate related security risks.

Links to climate change have slowly started to enter UN resolutions in recent years, but there is still controversy about the extent to which climate related security risks can and should be addressed by the UN Security Council. How can the international community best address resource conflicts driven by climate change? What consideration needs to be given to climate change in conflict prevention? And what are the long-term consequences of including climate change in the agenda of the UN Security Council with regards to sanctions and peacekeeping?

Join us for a discussion with our panellists on the security implications of climate change and the role of the UN Security Council in this context, with a welcome and introduction by Detlef Dzembritzki, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association of Germany.


Ottmar Georg Edenhofer is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Professor for the Economics of Climate Change at the Technical University Berlin as well as founding director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). Furthermore, he is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and of the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech. Edenhofer has published numerous articles in leading journals and authored various books. From 2008 to 2015 he served as Co-Chair of Working Group III of the IPCC, shaping the Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation substantially, which has been considered a landmark report and provided the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement.

Nina von Uexkull is Assistant Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University and Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo.  She is also a member of the management board of the Center of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science, CNDS. She holds a PhD from Uppsala University. Her research concerns the security implications of climate change, as well as rural armed conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has used extensive statistical studies, forecasting as well as household surveys in her research. Her work has been published, inter alia, in Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences (PNAS), Nature, Climatic Change, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Politics and Political Geography. 

Karl-Heinz Kamp is Special Envoy of the Political Director in the German Ministry of Defence. Previously, he was the President of the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS) in Berlin. From November 2007 to October 2013, he served as the Research Director of the NATO Defense College (NDC) in Rome. Up to 2007 he was in various leadership positions in Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and served in the Planning Staff of the German Foreign Ministry. He studied History and Political Sciences in Bonn and holds a Ph.D. from the University of the German Armed Forces, Hamburg. He is the co-editor of the strategic journal “Sirius” and published more than 400 articles on security policy.


Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger is Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School and Director of the school’s Centre for International Security. He has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference since 2008. From 2006 to 2008, he was Germany’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and from 2001 to 2006, he was Ambassador to the United States. Ischinger previously held a wide range of diplomatic and policymaking positions, including State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister, 1998-2001).

A joint event by the Centre for International Security at the Hertie School and the United Nations Association of Germany.