In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), climate change is affecting specific areas in different ways. This publication explores how climate contributes to insecurity in the LAC region. They resulted from a partnership between the Igarapé Institute and the Instituto Clima e Sociedade (iCS), both in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the support of the German Embassy in Brasília.
The connections between climate change and security are complex. The interaction with other factors and the speed and type of social change vary across different contexts. Climate change rarely, if ever, causes insecurity directly; intervening variables – most of them related to governance, development and resource management – mediate this relationship.
In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), climate change is affecting specific areas in different ways. From the melting glaciers of the Andes to the increasingly unpredictable floods in the Amazon Basin, from intensifying droughts in the Brazilian cerrado (tropical savannah) to growing food insecurity in Central America, from extreme weather events in the Caribbean to shifting rain patterns in Patagonia, the entire region faces a series of emerging challenges.
Far from being confined to remote or sparsely populated areas, these challenges also affect residents of densely populated places, including major cities such as Mexico City, Lima, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. The IPCC 2018 Special Report underlines the potential impact of sea-level rise in highly populated coastal areas, with the potential need of resettlement of communities and the rearrangement of public services provision – phenomena that are directly relevant to the millions of Latin Americans living along the region’s coastlines.
The publication has two key goals. First, it is meant to provide an initial trove of evidence-based research on the links between climate and security in LAC. Most of the articles focus on case studies or comparisons, while others tackle more conceptual dimensions of the climate security debate and the role of governance in LAC. Second, it is intended to raise awareness of these links and to promote solutions-oriented debate among researchers and policymakers within the region.