Current project 

Climate-Conflict and Climate-Atrocities Research: What’s the Difference?  
This project investigates the similarities and differences between the large volume of climate-conflict research and the emerging climate-atrocities research. The aim is to use insights from the former to guide and boost the latter.  

Book

Review

Without diluting or diverting the core message of ‘R2P’ – designed specifically to energize the world’s response to genocide and other heinous mass atrocity crimes – Parr creatively applies its principles and methodology to meeting the existential challenge of climate change. A thoughtful, stimulating, practical, and very-readable exercise in the cross-fertilization of ideas.  

Gareth Evans, Former Australian Foreign Minister; President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group; and author of ‘The Responsibility to Protect’ (ICISS; and Brookings)

Climate Change Action and the Responsibility to Protect: A Common Cause (London: Routledge, 2024)

This book brings together two important fields in the study of international politics and policy: climate change adaptation and mitigation (climate action) and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Both have attracted strong scholarly attention in each of their respective research silos, but there is yet to be a strong research push that explores the relationship between the two.

Filling this gap, Ben L. Parr argues that the climate action and the R2P agendas share a common goal: to protect vulnerable human populations from large-scale harm. To substantiate this argument, Parr reveals where the historical, conceptual, and operational parallels exist between the two agendas, and where and when researchers and practitioners from both camps might work together in practice to achieve their common goal in the challenging years ahead. Notably, the book builds on recent efforts by Western governments in the UK, US and EU to integrate climate action policies into conflict prevention and response policies. To achieve this, the volume situates a variety of climate action policies alongside the forty-six policy options found in the R2P operational framework (commonly known as the R2P toolbox) across its prevention, reaction, and rebuilding phases.

Climate Change Action and the Responsibility to Protect will be of significant interest to policy-orientated students and scholars, those working at the academic-policy interface in the NGO community, as well as those working in government and international organisations. (Available heree-book available November 2023; hardcopy, January 2024) 

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

PART I: CLIMATE CHANGE AND ATROCITIES – THE HISTORY

CHAPTER 1      A History of Climatic Change and Atrocities

          • The Pre-Industrial Period
          • The Industrial Revolution to the Second World War 
          • The Cold War to the New Millennium 
          • September 11 to the Covid-19 Pandemic 

CHAPTER 2      Efforts to Curb Global Warming and Prevent Atrocities

          • Post-Cold War to the World Trade Centre Attacks
          • The War on Terror to the Arab Spring
          • The Arab Spring to the post-Pandemic World

CHAPTER 3      Climate Change and R2P – Towards Integration

          • Integrating Climate with Peace and Security – the Recent Background
          • Climate-R2P – Conceptual Considerations

PART II: CLIMATE ACTION AND R2P’S OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK

CHAPTER 4      Climate Action and The Responsibility to Prevent

          • Early Warning Systems
          • Political and Diplomatic Strategies
          • Economic and Social Strategies
          • Constitutional and Legal Strategies
          • Security Sector Strategies

CHAPTER 5      Climate Action and The Responsibility to React

          • Political and Diplomatic Strategies
          • Economic Strategies
          • Legal Strategies
          • Security Strategies
          1. Military Strategies Short of Applying Coercive Force
          2. Military Intervention

CHAPTER 6      Climate Action and The Responsibility to Rebuild

          • Achieving Security
          • Achieving Good Governance
          • Achieving Justice and Reconciliation
          • Achieving Economic and Social Development

CONCLUSION

Website

Towards a Global Centre for Climate Change and Atrocity Prevention,  2022

This project originated in mid-2021 while conducting research for my book (above). In my search for information, it became apparent that nowhere did there exist a dedicated climate change-atrocity prevention NGO. And indeed, absent too were any ongoing programs on this topic in established climate security or conflict-focused NGOs. 

This PowerPoint presentation shows the ‘gap’ in the NGO universe. 

Based on this finding, I built a ‘proof of concept’ website (www.climate-informedr2p.com). The aim was for the website, and its functions, to provide an example structure and a few innovate ideas (such as the Live Policy Tracker) towards the establishment of a pilot Global Centre for Climate Change and Atrocity Prevention.  

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