Script for Presentation: Increasing Human Security Through Climate Action
by Paul Stevers, Think Renewables Group, April 5, 2020
1 Intro Slide – no words
2. “Welcome everyone. Today, I want to introduce you to an opportunity to increase human security through actions that mitigate and/or adapt to climate change or what we refer to as Climate Actions.
3. Unfortunately, Climate change is compounding many existing problems and is resulting in a substantial increase in adverse impacts to human security. Essentially, it is acting like threat multiplier. For example: Substantial change in weather patterns in Africa is causing many millions of people to become food insecure. This includes both severe droughts and floods. As well, an overly wet season can create a new set of major problems such as the locusts that multiplied into the billions and devastated crops in east Africa this year.
Whether droughts or billions of locusts are causing food shortages, the results are same. Insufficient food is creating and/or amplifying many conflicts, which often leads to mass migration.
If the violence and mass migration continues to grow, I think it is reasonable to assume that some governments in Africa may collapse. If this did occur, this would significantly compound existing problems.
4. To illustrate the rapid growth of violence in some parts of Africa, here is a short video highlighting the growth of violence in the Sahel and West Africa between 1997 and 2017. After seeing this video, you may agree that problems are growing quickly and the significant action is needed.
5. Fortunately, there is an substantial funding available for climate action. Therefore, we recommend some of this funding be strategically utilized to increase food security, education and job creation. For example:
Hundreds of billions of dollars are now flowing into climate action. At the same time, rapid innovation is reducing the cost of implementing technologies to facilitate food security such as solar-powered irrigation. As well, there is a substantial growth of free educational information and low cost digital devices to support education. If this strategy was implemented on a substantial scale, we feel the impact would be very significant.
6. To give you an idea of just how much money in flowing into climate action, show here are some reports about this funding. In 2018, the World Bank Group announced $200 billion in funding over five years for climate action.
Green bonds issuance continues to grow rapidly. For example, a new report by Climate Bonds Initiative indicated that in 2019, green bonds issuance hit a record $255 billion.
Every year, the Climate Policy Initiative publish their Global Landscape of Climate Finance report. In their recent report, they indicated that finance for climate action reached 579 billion US dollars for fiscal year 2017/2018. It should be noted that this amount would likely include green bonds issuance and World Bank funding for this time period. Therefore, all numbers shown on this screen cannot be simply added together to estimate a larger total.
7. Recently, many of the world’s very wealthy investors have become very alarmed about climate change, however, many of them are not likely fully aware of the associated threats to global stability and human security. Therefore, if they were informed of these threats, I expect they would become more interested to financially support substantial action on climate change to protect their wealth. To provide you an idea of the amount of collective wealth of investors who are likely very concerned about climate change, I have provided you with these three lists:
The list of signers of the 2019 Global Investor Statement To Governments On Climate Change, which represent more than USD $37 trillion in assets. This statement was prepared by a group of organizations including the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.
Next is the list of organizations and individuals that have pledged to divest from oil, gas and coal and re-invest in Climate Solutions. Assets of these pledgers now exceed $12 trillion. This initiative is being organized by a group called Divest Invest dot org.
Signers of the Giving Pledge, which was founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. As of May 2019, pledges exceeded over $500 billion. In each of the above lists, the names of wealthy individuals and organizations are identified. Therefore, a coordinated plan could be implemented to inform them about the global stability and human security implications of climate change and invite them to support bold preventive action.
8. To help encourage investors, including the very wealthy, to invest in Climate Solutions, there is a growing range of financial incentives becoming available. You can view these information about these incentives on a number of online platforms including Climate Finance Explorer by the NDC Partnership, Financial Navigator by the International Renewable Energy Agency or also known as IRENA and finally, a grants directory about grants for projects in developing countries, which is called the Terra Viva Grants Directory
9. Fortunately, rapid innovation is reducing the cost of technologies to increase food security such as solar-powered irrigation. Shown here is a schematic illustrating this type of irrigation by Rainmaker Enterprises.
10. In addition, there is substantial growth of free educational information and low cost digital devices to support education. For example, last year one NGO called One Billion was awarded a 5 million dollar prize for developing an open-source, scalable software that empowers children to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic within 15 months. Some other examples include the Rumie tablet that comes with free educational apps developed by the Rumie Initiative based in Toronto and the large offline eLibrary called RACHEL by World Possible that includes thousand of videos from the website, Khan Academy and a copy of Wikipedia for Students. The RACHEL eLibrary is available in multiple languages.
11. One area that is often overlooked when speaking about climate action is education. Educating girls is one of the most effective but overlooked ways to mitigate against climate change. Promoting girls’ education and reproductive rights has huge climate impacts through lower fertility rates. For example, research shows that a woman with 12 years of schooling has almost four to five less children than a woman with no years of schooling. In addition, girls education, participation and leadership in climate action improves societal resilience. For example, for every additional year of schooling that girls receive in a country, on average their respective country’s resilience to climate disasters can be expected to improve by 3.2 points on the Global Adaptation Index.
As well, education helps develop life skills for a green economy, non-violent conflict resolution, increased food production and job creation. If this education is implemented on a very substantial scale, we expect that it will result in increased regional stability and human security.
12. The impact of substantial climate action to prevent and/or mitigate conflicts can be significantly increased through international cooperation. This can make much better use of available funding, innovative technologies and free educational resources.
International collaboration can be done through many ways. This includes coordinated programs by UN related organizations such as UNDP and the training of security staff in developing countries of international organizations such as NATO and their member countries. As well, this includes collaboration of civil society organizations and volunteers.
13. One example of collaboration of civil society organizations and volunteers is the Africa Climate Action Initiative (ACAI) that our team at Climate Solutions Advancement Network, and a partner organization called Climate Fast, initiated. This initiative is now formally part of Canada-Africa Partnership Network (CAP Network), which is a registered NGO in Canada. Through this initiative, we are combining expertise in Canada and Africa to access funding for substantial action. Each of the participants share information about funding opportunities, funding applications, implementations, and lessons learned. The formal launch of this initiative planned for May of this year in Toronto. We expect this collaboration model can be implemented on a global scale.
14. The opportunity to increase human security that I outlined in this presentation can be also be considered a strategy for social inclusion and shared prosperity that is being advocated by Dr. Leif Rosenberger in his new book called Economic Statecraft and US Foreign Policy: Reducing the Demand for Violence. In this book, he argues that the strategy of social inclusion and shared prosperity helped build a stable peace between France and Germany after the second World War. Therefore, he recommends a similar strategy be used to help build stability in countries that are being stressed by climate change and existing wars. We feel a good place to start to implement this strategy is to utilize climate finance to fund projects such as solar-powered irrigation to support food security and distribution of free educational eLibraries to support education.
15. In conclusion, climate change can be considered a security threat multiplier. Fortunately, there is an opportunity to increase human security through climate action.
For example, there are hundreds of billions of dollars are available for climate action. It is possible to strategically utilize some of this money to fund projects to increase human security such as solar-powered irrigation. The impact of this action can be increased through international cooperation and a strategy of social inclusion and shared prosperity.
To increase awareness of this opportunity, we recommend on online conference be held for the public to highlight the urgent need action to address the global human security impacts of climate change and what can be done about it. If you are interested, after my presentation, I can share with more details about this online conference we are proposing.
16. Thank you for your time. As shown on this slide, to view this presentation, some possible next steps and related information, you can visit climatesan.org/ihs .