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No peace under the Shea tree - Climate change & conflicts in the Sahel: Debunking the myths

by Delina Goxho, Independent Security Consultant

Climate change has been widely perceived as a direct driver of conflict in the Sahel. But from a closer perspective, the link between climate change and Sahelian conflicts is less clear.

CC BY-NC 2.0 - NASA - Flickr

Autocracy versus Democracy: Who is doing more to protect the climate?

The Multinational Development Policy Dialogue - KAS in Brussels is happy to share with you our #MDPD Briefs on climate change, climate protection, climate policies & environment.

The greater the pressure to limit global warming to an acceptable level, the louder the demands for an ambitious approach to climate protection. In democratic societies some groups demand “radical” action, even at the expense of democratic majorities and legislative processes. Illegal action becomes morally justified as part of a fight of “good versus evil”. These groups feel emboldened by the position of certain democratic governments that in the past years have been opposed to climate protection, such as the US, Brazil and Australia. At the same time, authoritarian regimes try to present themselves as effective protectors of the climate. As such, democracies face the challenge to prove that they are capable of sustainable, effective climate policy based on civil liberties, political participation and pluralistic political competition. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at the truth of common allegations against democratic systems with regard to climate protection.

Michele Pasquale

Can EU Trade Foster Sustainable Development?

EU Efforts to Enforce Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in Free Trade Agreements with South Korea and Vietnam

By integrating chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development ( TSD) in Free Trade Agreements, the European Union high-lights its commitment to a “values-based trade agenda”, which fosters economic, social, and environmental development simultaneously. Tackling non-compliance and fostering the implementation of TSD commitments is crucial to achieving high labour and sustainability standards through trade tools.

CCL eu_echo – Flickr

Scaling Up the EU’s Involvement for a Secure and Stable Iraq

by Hannah Barrett

Table of contents: I. Assessing Iraq’s Needs Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic II. The Extent of EU Involvement in Iraq – Programs & Funding III. Scaling Up the EU-Iraq Partnership

CCL Alex Berger - Flickr

Updating African NDCs in times of Covid-19 - Lost momentum?

Olivia Rumble and Andrew Gilder, Climate Legal, South Africa

COVID-19 has important consequences for the full operationalisation of the Paris Agreement including the fundamentally important mechanism for increased domestic climate change ambition, namely the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by country Parties to the Agreement. Every effort should be made to maintain the progress that has been achieved in framing national mitigation and adaptation efforts as NDCs, since the Paris Agreement was concluded. Review and updating of African NDCs is at risk including from lack of finances and pandemic restrictions and connectivity challenges which hamper the required specialist input and stakeholder engagement processes. These issues are particularly acute in African Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Despite these factors, the African continent has considerable global strategic value and influence and increases in African climate change ambition, as expressed in NDCs, will likely have cross pollinating effects on other developing countries. The following illustrative approaches might be applied to overcoming the above-mentioned hurdles to African NDC development: - use of developed country Party delegation country-offices and their internet connectivity to facilitate meetings on host country NDCs between local players, including the public and private sectors, civil society and specialist advisors; - development of awareness campaigns of the NDC review process; - support for public gatherings that conform to local pandemic requirements and outdoor venues, and similar actions tailored to local requirements. Whilst seemingly inconsequential in scale, these types of actions of support can have far reaching implications for LDC governments and the wider public. Unquestionably, climate finance also continues to play a dominant role in the region’s NDC review process and in this context, developed countries should be particularly attuned to ensuring that outgoing financial support for their review and implementation remains forthcoming.

CCL Intermountain Forest Service

The EU’s Carbon Border Tax and the Fate of the Green Deal Diplomacy

Which pathway for an inclusive Border Carbon Adjustment Mechanism?

Often referred to as a technical tool to prevent carbon leakage, the EU’s planned Carbon Border Tax is right at the heart of a broader geopolitical question. It reflects the EU Commission’s willingness to play hardball in its Green Deal Diplomacy. No wonder the initiative has created a considerable global backlash. But there is a simple principle that can guide the way for an inclusive Carbon Border Tax: “Doing the least harm” – to the multilateral system, to developing economies, and to the EU’s legitimacy as a climate leader.

CCL United Nations Photo - UNMISS

China’s growing security role in Africa Suggestions for a European response

Tom Bayes, International Consultant

As it emerges as a global security actor, Beijing is actively pursuing a greater role in African peace and security – which it established as a priority area for Sino-African ties in 2018. In recent years, China has stepped up military diplomacy, training and arms sales on the continent (becoming the second-largest supplier); mediated conflicts; and expanded its role in UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKOs) both quantitatively and qualitatively. Beijing has also located its first overseas military base on the continent, in Djibouti. Coupled with its considerable economic and diplomatic influence on the continent, China’s growing engagement with African security raises new challenges and opportunities for Africa and its existing security partners, including European actors in the EU and NATO. This #MDPD paper on democracy and development draws on fieldwork in eight African countries, including interviews of senior military officers, government officials, politicians, researchers and civil society actors, as well as foreign diplomats and officials of international organisations.

Michele Pasquale

Political Party Cooperation in Third Countries - Key Elements of Effective EU Democracy Promotion

Peter Köppinger, International Consultant

The MDPD paper sets the frame of how the EU can organize its cooperation with political parties and shall initiate further discussion on the topic.

Gleb Garanich, Reuters

The Second Generation of Climate Minilateralism

Building a New Mitigation Alliance

With multilateral progress on climate change lagging behind, a range of “minilateral” climate alliances have emerged over the past years. However, most of these climate clubs only had a limited impact in practice. In order to accelerate global climate action, there is a need for a second generation of climate minilateralism – a new Mitigation Alliance that provides exclusive benefits, comprises enthusiastic actors, and is closely aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Promoting water security in the MENA region

Water technology solutions in development cooperation and the role of SMEs

On the 09th of July 2019 the MPDP together with SME Europe organized in Brussels an expert exchange on “Promoting water security In the MENA region”. European and regional experts from the civil society, business sector and administrative level came together, to discuss the MENA region’s most pressing challenges concerning water security. This paper summarises the event’s output and discusses economic framework conditions to promote and improve inter and intraregional water technology transfer through SMEs. It further addresses the question of how to enhance investment protection and capacity building in the region. It focuses on ways to make sure that water technology knowledge is sustainable and to the benefit of the people in need.