Ecological diplomacy: Bringing environment to the core of foreign and security policy

Livestream · 08.03.2022 14:00 - 15:30

The consequences of climate change and energy transition are becoming a part of geopolitics, as increasingly acknowledged by global actors like the EU. However, to fully tackle the systemic crisis that is already unraveling, it is necessary to look beyond mere carbon emissions and understand climate as a long-term process of all-encompassing ecological change and accelerating disintegration on a planetary scale. There is a need for coherent and comprehensive European ecological diplomacy, which focuses more intently on conflict and fragile zones, and which systemically shifts the EU’s geoeconomic, regulatory, trade, and multilateral power toward efforts that advance socio-ecological peace and stabilization.

In this FIIA seminar, we will consider ecological diplomacy in the context of foreign and security policy. What should a European approach to ecological diplomacy entail? What are the potential avenues for collaboration to operationalize ecological diplomacy?



Olivia Lazard

Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Europe

Olivia Lazard is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe. Her research focuses on the geopolitics of climate, the transition ushered by climate change, and the risks of conflict and fragility associated to climate change and environmental collapse. Lazard is also an environmental peacemaking and mediation practitioner with over twelve years of experience in the peacemaking sector at field and policy levels. With an original specialization in the political economy of conflicts, she has worked for various NGOs, the UN, the EU, and donor states in the Middle East, Latin America, Sub-Saharan and North Africa, and parts of Asia.


Anne Tarvainen

Director of International Cooperation, WWF Finland

Anne Tarvainen has long experience in international cooperation, especially in the development cooperation context. In addition to her eight years’ experience at WWF Finland managing the international portfolio, she has been working at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, UNDP, various NGOs and the Finnish Environmental Institute. She has lived in Africa for ten years, and in her present role, she is working closely with the WWF international network which covers over a hundred countries on six continents.


Emma Hakala

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Emma Hakala is Senior Research Fellow at FIIA, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Helsinki and a member of the BIOS Research Unit. Her research focuses on environmental security and the geopolitics of climate change. Her previous research has covered, among other things, environmental security cooperation in the post-conflict Western Balkans, the intersections of environmental security and policy coherence, and the integration of climate change into preparedness and security policy in Finland. Hakala is also currently working on the project “Toxic Crimes” at the University of Helsinki, where she explores practices aimed to address the environmental damage of conflicts.