The 12th article of the 2023 Civilian CSDP Compact tasks all civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions to mainstream efforts to address security-related challenges linked to climate change and environmental degradation. Each mission has an obligation to employ environmental advisors, improve their environmental performance and climate literacy, introduce an environmental management system and report on their environmental footprint.

In Ukraine, the civilian CSDP mission, the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM), primarily provides support on civilian security sector reform to their Ukrainian counterparts. After Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine started in February 2022, the mission adjusted its mandate to put priority on providing support in territories liberated from Russian occupation.

The environmental damage caused by the war is (already) significant, and the mission has the opportunity to address the environmental consequences within the prioritised areas mentioned. It also needs to mainstream environmental considerations in other work strands.

Climate, Environment and Security training

The EUCTI training on the interplay of climate, environment, and security, organised by the Austrian Centre for Peace (ACP), comes at the right time. Divided into two parts, it will first target senior mission management. A self-paced module and an online webinar on 5 April 2024 will introduce the topic and be a first step to enhanced climate literacy. Furthermore, it will provide a basis for their future action within the mission mandate’s limits and a special focus on the do-no-harm principle in the context of climate change and environmental degradation.

The second part will consist of two online webinars targeting mission staff, especially the members of the so-called green team. They will be introduced to the environment-climate-security nexus and the practical application of the do-no-harm principle. In addition, they will tackle the transfer of theoretical ideas to the environmental monitoring mechanism used in the field to track the mission’s environmental footprint.

As the topic of climate change and environmental degradation and protection gains importance across the EU and its CSDP missions, there is hope for the EUCTI Consortium to be able to contribute to capacity building and environmental protection in other CSDP missions as well.