A growing body of research on the links between climate change, fragility and conflict shows that climate change will make peacebuilding more urgent and complex. Climate-sensitive peacebuilding has the potential to significantly contribute to addressing climate-fragility risks. The Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Commission have both started to address the links between climate change, fragility and conflict and these experiences can be used to strengthen their engagement on the topic.
On 28 January 2020, the German Federal Foreign Office held a conference in Berlin to mark the launch of the Green Central Asia initiative. Opened by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell, it brought together the foreign ministers of the Central Asian states, as well as more than 250 participants to discuss the climate and security challenges facing Central Asia—and how the Green Central Asia initiative can contribute to addressing them.
The Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) released its inaugural “World Climate and Security Report 2020” at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), the annual and influential gathering of senior international security and military leaders.
This report assesses how peacebuilding programming can produce adaptation benefits, so that interventions simultaneously contribute to reduced intercommunal conflict and strengthened resilience to shocks. It draws on the evaluations of programs that included peacebuilding and climate change adaptation to synthesize lessons learned, develop and test a theory of change, and offer recommendations integrating approaches that consider and address compound climate-fragility risks.
Climate change is not only one of the greatest global challenges, but also gives the German Federal Foreign Office the opportunity in the area of foreign policy to support other countries and international organisations in dealing with the impact of climate change and in the transformation towards a climate-neutral economy.
This Research Paper takes stock of what we currently know about the links between climate change, fragility and conflict, summarizing evidence from research and practice over the last 25 years.
Evidence from existing programs shows that climate change adaptation interventions can contribute to peacebuilding, and peacebuilding can have significant adaptation benefits.
Africa in general, and the Sahel in particular, is often identified as the region where climate change is most likely to undermine security and trigger violent conflict. This is a function of the region’s history of violent conflict and its perceived vulnerability to climate change.
South Asia is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions. Many countries in the region lack the resources and capacities needed to cope with the worsening impacts of climate change. At the same time, climate change is increasingly interacting with socio-economic, demographic and political factors to exacerbate fragility risks.