Round Table Debate:
Challenges and Capabilities:
Towards a European response to Climate Insecurity
European Parliament, Brussels, 25 November 2013
At the invitation of Indrek Tarand, MEP, a group of more than thirty security and foreign policy specialists convened on Monday, 25 November at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the security and defence implications associated with climate change.
Led by a distinguished panel of speakers, the animated discussion also involved present and former parliamentarians, including Vittorio Prodi and Tom Spencer (former Chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and currently Vice Chair of GMACCC). Mr. Bastion Hermission of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung – co-organisers’ alongside ESRT – opened the panel discussion and set the scene for the interaction between the six panelists and the audience.
Radm. (ret) Neil Morisetti, formerly the UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, spoke about the big picture and the need to act collectively.
Mr. Stefan Auer (Director Multinational Relations and Global Issues at EEAS) spoke about the outcome of the recently concluded Climate Change Conference in Warsaw and together with Radm. Bruce Williams (Deputy Director General of the EU Military Staff) elaborated on the details of what climate driven crisis actually is, highlighting aspects such as drought and migration.
Dr. Susanne Michaelis of NATO spoke about NATO’s current efforts as part of addressing emerging security challenges while emphasising the need for more effective NATO-EU and specifically NATO-EDA collaboration.
Brig. Gen. (ret) Vassilis Tsiamis of EDA spoke about Military Green as a platform for inter-institutional cooperation and pointed out the wealth of ongoing projects on energy and environment within EDA.
Mr. Dinesh Rempling of the Swedish Ministry of Defence (speaking as a subject matter expert) spoke of the holistic approach as embodied by Military Green where policy, technology and behaviour meet to form the basis for capability development, while pointing out that money talks and urged the EU to grasp the golden opportunity to exploit to the full the mechanisms in the Lisbon Treaty such as the Start-Up Fund (article 41.3) as a means to develop and enhance the EU’s existing capabilities in the most cost-effective way at a time of budgetary austerity.
At the end of the meeting, MEP Indrek Tarand concluded with the sincere hope and request that the made proposals will be considered, taken into account and addressed in the conclusions of the European Council in December.
- Huxham, Q.; Rempling, D. H. C. “The Start-Up Fund – An Elegant Treaty Mechanism for Sustaining Defence Capabilities” Security Policy Brief 2013, No. 28, 1-6 (link)