June 6, 2023 ● 18:30

Climate Security Risks: Towards more inter-institutional cooperation?


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Climate-related security risks are transboundary. Thus, many national actors are relying on international and regional  organisations to coordinate and solutions to address the risks. The EU has acknowledged climate  as a security concern already in the beginning of XXI century. NATO recognises climate change as an ‘overarching challenge of our time’ that will ‘measurably’ increase the risks to security and ‘worsen as the world warms further’. In December 2021, the OSCE adopted a ministerial decision on strengthening co-operation to address the challenges caused by climate change. 

Today, most of the effects of climate change are still more visible in countries of Global South, which exacerbate or overlaps with existing insecurities. 

Do international organisations have an agreement and a solution for this? 

Should and can climate security lead towards more inter-institutional cooperation? 

Is gender aspect mainstreamed in those solutions? 

This and many more questions WIIS Brussels will discuss with our speakers on 6 June at 18:30, to Friends of Europe office in Brussels (De Meeûssquare 5/6, 1000 Brussels -Treesquare room). 

About our speakers

  • Kathy Giles-Diaz currently serves as the Public Affairs Advisor at the U.S. Mission to NATO, developing and coordinating public messaging and outreach for the interagency mission.  Prior to her current assignment, she was the Director of the State Department’s Office of International Media Engagement where she led a team – in Washington and spread across the globe at six strategically located Media Hubs – of foreign language spokespersons and media experts responsible for amplifying U.S. messaging among international audiences around the world.  Previously, Kathy also served as the Director of the U.S.-European Media Hub in Brussels and the Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia.  Other assignments include Tokyo, Japan, San Salvador, El Salvador and Washington, DC.  Before joining the State Department, Kathy worked as a television news producer for Tokyo Broadcasting Systems (TBS) and served as a trainer for a student foreign exchange program.  She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and Masters’ Degrees in Public Administration and Environmental Science from Indiana University.  Kathy is joined in Brussels by her husband, Miguel Diaz, and two teenage daughters.
  • Dr Simon Sparsø Damkjaer is a former Environmental Adviser to the EU Civilian Crisis Management Mission in Mali, EUCAP Sahel Mali. He was one of two first environmental advisers sent to a Crisis Management Mission mandated to mainstream environment and climate change themes into the Missions’ activities and operations. During his mandate, Simon drafted a Special Report that analysed the impacts of climate change environmental degradation on the security situation in Mali and on the EU Mission’s Operations. He further contributed to the co-drafting of the Operational Guidelines for Integrating Environment and Climate Change into CSDP Missions, calculated the EU Mission’s Environmental Footprint and initiated collaboration on fighting environmental crime between EUCAP Sahel Mali and the Malian Internal Security Forces. Simon has a PhD in Sustainable Resources and Policy from University College London Institute for Sustainable Resources (UCL-ISR), Master of International Environmental Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BSc in Environmental Geography. Simon is also an Honorary Lecturer at UCL-ISR where he lectures on issues related to water resources management, sanitation and hygiene, water footprinting and international trade law. In June 2023, Simon started work as Climate and Environmental Adviser for the Danish Company ‘cBrain’ – a corporation that bridges public-private partnerships by digitising and fast-tracking public administrative environmental processes and procedures.
  • Iina Lietzen currently works on climate change and security related matters in the Integrated Approach for Security and Peace Directorate at the European External Action Service. For the last three years, she has focused on integrating the climate and security nexus into EU crisis management and peacebuilding. She also has experience from working at the EU Delegation in Israel and the Finnish ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  • Jordan Koop is a Policy Officer and Analyst working at NATO in the Climate Change and Energy Security Section of the Emerging Security Challenges Division. Jordan is a Subject Matter Expert focusing on climate change and security, awareness, adaptation and mitigation, geospatial intelligence, the energy transition, gender, risk analysis and diplomacy.
    Additionally, Jordan supports the Environment and Development Resource Centre (EDRC) as a Policy and Communications Advisor in affiliation with the Brussels Dialogue on Climate Diplomacy (BDCD) and the Institute of Environmental Security (IES). Jordan is a member of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) and Women in International Security (WIIS) at NATO. Jordan has been a delegate of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Conference of the Parties (COP26 and COP27) in Scotland and Egypt.
    Previously, she was a Programme Assistant at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and an EU Youth Ambassador at the One Campaign. Jordan graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Brussels School of Governance with an MA in Diplomacy and Global Governance and an Advanced Certificate in Global Risk Analysis and Crisis Management. Jordan obtained her Honours BA in Political Science and Media, Information and Technoculture from the University of Western Ontario in Canada

This event is part of the WIIS Talks Climate Security, which released a podcast mini-series exploring the topic with female experts from Brussels and beyond. Catch up on it before attending!

This event is funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

Kathy Giles-Diaz

Kathy Giles-Diaz

Public Affairs Adviser - U.S. Mission to NATO

Dr. Simon Sparsø Damkjaer

Dr. Simon Sparsø Damkjaer

Former Environmental Adviser - EU Crisis Management Mission EUCAP Sahel Mali

Jordan Koop

Jordan Koop

Policy Officer and Analyst, Climate Change and Energy Security Section - NATO

Iina Lietzén

Iina Lietzén

Policy Officer, Integrated Approach for Security and Peace Directorate - EEAS


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November 29, 2023 ● 18:30
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