Recent examples of short-term climate disruption have done much to bring the overall issue of climate change up the political agenda. In responding to what will be one of the key challenges of the next decades – well beyond the 15-year lifetime of the post-2015 global development goals currently under discussion – much of the attention has been focused on the need to adapt to those elements of climate change that are already irreversible and also to the need to decarbonise existing high carbon-emitting economies. What needs much greater attention is the fundamental need to ensure that low-carbon emitters in the Global South are enabled to combine effective human development with responding to the challenges of climate change.
Shortly after the lunar New Year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon challenged the Conference on Disarmament to run with the ‘spirit of the blue horse’ towards substantive engagement on multilateral nuclear disarmament in 2014. While the regime may not achieve this speed, there are initiatives underway this year that may well help nuclear disarmament dialogues pick up speed ahead of the 2015 NPT review conference.
After 100 years of continuous war, can Britain learn the limits of military action to respond to shifting realities of insecurity? Continued investment in force projection and lack of commitment to genuine reflection on today’s security challenges suggests it’s not yet ready to let go of its militarist mindset.