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"A more unstable climate, with rising temperatures and more frequent and intense weather events, could affect the most fundamental aspects of our shared security: food, water, and trade"Pictured: Edward Daveyimpact. As the Secretary General of NATO said, food scarcity, "like all the effects of climate change. will hit hardest on the people and countries least able financially and organisationally to cope". Even where absolute availability is not in question, rising prices can trigger civil unrest, and threaten free trade. The pressures on the global food system are mirrored when it comes to water. Water use is growing twice as quickly as population. In fifteen years' time, 1.8 billion people will live in areas suffering from absolute water scarcity. Historically, countries have tended not to go to war over water. Instead, we have concluded deals and signed treaties to share this finite resource. But such accords could come under threat, as climate change affects rainfall, intensifying pressures between states - and within them.SecurityIt is this amplifying effect that makes climate change a particular concern. Where the risk of conflict already burns brightly, it will focus the flame.Those parts of the world we are most concerned about - the conflict flashpoints, the fragile trade routes, the weakened democracies - are often the same places that will be worst affected by climate change. It is a threat multiplier, and its effects will be felt most keenly in areas already under threat. From a diplomatic perspective, that makes climate diplomacy all the more urgent.We need to build resilience and adaptation into developed and developing economies alike. And we need to get that global deal to stop emissions rising; if we do not, a whole new set of problems arise. From a security perspective, we need to be ready for a world where climate instability drives political instability.Commodity prices have increased by nearly 150 per cent since the year 2000.Competition for resources could intensify, as territorial change puts pressure on trade and makes conflict more likely. Natural disasters could increase the demands on our military capability. And in failing states, food, water and energy supply problems could spark internal unrest that spills outwards. These risks threaten both our defence and development goals; which is why militaries around the world are making climate risk part of their strategic planning.The Pentagon's Quadrennial Defence Review Report concludes that climate change will shape the US military's "operating environment, roles and missions".Here in the UK, our own National Security Strategy identifies climate change as a "wide-ranging driver of insecurity. exacerbating existing weakness and tensions". And whether you are from Australia or Bangladesh, South Africa or Japan, your presence here today speaks to the seriousness of the climate security agenda. For governments, the risks are clear: to development, to democracy, and to peace itself. We cannot afford to ignore them. We have to plan for a world where climate change makes difficult problems worse.ConclusionWhen faced with seemingly intractable risks, we can take comfort in our history. When faced with other global threats - from nuclear war to smallpox - we have proven ourselves equal to the challenge. Our ability to create problems for ourselves, as we have with carbon emissions, is matched only by our ability to create solutions. So in the months and years to come, I hope we can continue to work together - not only to prepare for the worst, but to deliver the best: a more sustainable future for all. nACKNOWLEDGEMENTEdward Davey, the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, delivered the above remarks at "Climate & Resource Security Dialogue for the 21st Century" conference in London on 22 March 2012. For more information please contact the Department of Energy and Climate Change, www.decc.orgg8 member countries 031

The Durban platform to strengthen the international climate change regimeEdna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa Head of South African Delegation for COP17 After a year of intensive negotiation, the final outcome of Durban is historic and precedent setting, ranking with the 1997 conference where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. In the dying hours of this watershed conference we were able to agree on a comprehensive deal. This agreement not only significantly advances the global effort needed now to address the global climate change crisis; but also sets a new long-term pathway for the development of a fair, ambitious and legally binding future multi-lateral and rules-based global climate change system which can balance climate and development imperatives. It ensures the fair participation of all countries (both developed and developing) in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both now and in the future. Overall, this climate change conference has been characterised by a new willingness on the part of all parties to move beyond entrenched negotiating positions and unconstructive rhetoric and engage with the challenges of achieving economic development in an increasingly carbon constrained world. This represents a significant and hopeful step forward.In order to address what needs to be done now, Durban ensured the preservation of the Kyoto Protocol through its decision on the adoption of the 2nd commitment period capturing legally binding commitments of developed countries beyond the expiration date of the 1st commitment period in 2012. Under the convention we anchored emission reduction targets for developed countries that are not willing to be part of the Kyoto 2nd commitment period, as well as emission mitigation actions of developing countries and were able to elaborate the Swiss-image.ch/Photo by Michael Wuertenberg Copyright by World Economic Forum.032 post-durban remarks