Presenting findings regarding whether climate change is changing (or has changed) the perceptions and conceptions of security by actors affiliated to the UNFCCC, discourse analysis of meetings held by the UNFCCC’s Taskforce on Displacement (henceforth Taskforce) and Adaptation Committee within the 2010–2019 analytical timeframe revealed instances of riskifying moves. The analytical method complements Jinnah’s (2014) examination of environmental secretariat activities related to a single issue. The method also complements Zwolski and Kaunert’s (2011) evaluation of the criteria for epistemic community on climate security. Therefore, the method herein helps to confirm or refute the paper’s main argument: the UNFCCC is already conceptualising climate security although its original mandate requires no such conceptualisation. With respect to climate change as a riskifier due to its ability to exacerbate a wide array of interacting events such as slow-onset impacts, voluntary and forced movements, climate riskification is a risk-based logic which shares important attributes with securitisation but differs in key respects with the focus on causes, side effects, reflexivity and influencing the way we operate – emission reduction for instance. As decisionmakers, policy designers and commentators increasingly turn to the risk framing, much of the language centres on the future which, to varying extent, involves uncertainties about the precise timing and severity of possible risks. Accordingly, some commentators have proposed that focussing on climate risks rather than uncertainties can elicit a stronger response from political elites. In this light and given those two bodies’ engagement with climate riskification even though the UNFCCC’s mandates require no such engagement, it has hitherto been an urgent task to interpret climate riskification in the UNFCCC.
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