Climate Change and Peacebuilding
Saul Arbess, Ph.D.
There is a growing realization and a sense of urgency, in both governments and civil society around the world, that, as a species, we must collectively respond to climate change. Social justice and environmental sustainability are now seen as key variables in achieving a livable planet. Often forgotten is the third critical variable in this equation, a sustainable peace. Just as we must support sustainable ecosystems and socio-political systems, so must there be support for the creation of a sustainable architecture of peace. Without an ability to transform conflict by peaceful means, we will be unable to create just societies or positively transform our relationship to the natural world and our life-support systems. In most discourse on climate change, peace is seen as an outcome, rather than as a dynamic variable that conditions and helps determine that outcome. This talk will consider the importance of peacebuilding in addressing climate change.