Category: Urbanization and Environment

What to Expect from India at COP23?

Climate change is not a one-way street of cause and effect. International negotiations on climate change and the reduction of emissions are equally complex. A consistent Indian demand has been  green technology transfer from “high-emitting” developed countries. An equally longstanding principle is that of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, or CBDR-RC. Despite the continuities,… Read more »

Climate, Peace and Security

Despite rapid scientific progress, firm knowledge about the societal consequences of global warming remains limited. What are the implications of climate change for peace and security? Should we expect more wars and more political instability as the world heats up? The real concerns linked to climate change are not about shrinking glaciers, eroding coastlines, or… Read more »

An Urban Century: Which Direction Should Cities Take?

The Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador this week is the most important meeting on cities and development in decades. It will shape the urban agenda of the 21st century. It is now well-known that the world is more urban than rural, with the challenges of 21st century urbanisation firmly on the agenda. In Quito,… Read more »

How did the 13 November Paris Killers get their Guns?

Full details of the arms used in the 13 November massacres will emerge in time. This post provides some information on illicit automatic weapons, such as the Kalashnikov, in France, and how they reach illicit markets. Overall, it appears that there is a pool of several thousand illicit military style firearms in France and relatively… Read more »

Paris Attacks may have Consequences for European Cities

Attacks in Paris show how urban security challenges are becoming more complex. They ask difficult questions and present no easy answers. Friday’s attacks in Paris were an alarming reminder of the threats of organised violence in European cities. This comes less than a year after the assault against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and days… Read more »

Pakistan’s Crippling Energy Crisis and Increasing Remittances

  Deadly heat exposes Pakistan’s power problems. This summer CNBC run a report titled Deadly heat exposes Pakistan’s power problems after more than a thousand people died during heatwaves during the first days of Ramadan. Insufficient preparedness for the heatwave is largely seen as the cause of deaths, yet the context of the protracted electricity… Read more »

A Climate of Conflicts?

Political violence correlates strongly with climate: Civil conflict risk is seven to ten times higher in dry and tropical climates than in continental climate zones. Yet, there is little evidence that climatic variability and change are important in understanding this pattern. The prospect of climate change causing forced migration and food and economic insecurity, meanwhile,… Read more »

Reflections on Climate-Conflict Research: More Confusion than Knowledge

Does climate change constitute a threat to peace and security? Many agree that it does. The US administration’s new National Security Strategy, launched last month, portrays climate change as ‘an urgent and growing threat.’ And this week, a new study appears to add scientific credibility to this concern, suggesting human-caused climate change contributed to the… Read more »

A Tale of New Cities: The Future of Urban Planning in the Developing World

The global shift from rural to urban living will be the most important demographic transformation of the 21st century. All great shifts create the opportunity for great fortunes, especially for those with audacious visions who are positioned to capitalize on them. Indian industrialist Ajit Gulabchand runs Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), which is responsible for some… Read more »