Among the topics on the agenda of this year's G7 summit are the war in Ukraine, the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic, the promotion of international cooperation, and tackling the exacerbating effects of climate change. These are all challenges that policymakers will pay close attention to in the coming decade.
In the new report "Seven questions for the G7. Superforecasting climate-fragility risks for the coming decade", the " Superforecasters" at Good Judgement were asked seven questions about climate-linked risks over the coming decade until 2031. Good Judgement is a renowned geopolitical and global risk forecasting entity that offers predictions on political, economic and social issues. Its "superforecasters" have already made hundreds of falsifiable predictions on geopolitical developments that have proven to be particularly accurate.
The past is no longer a reliable indicator of the future
The study uses the unsurpassed track record of the Superforecasters to help convert the uncertainty of geopolitics amidst the climate crisis into manageable risks. It sets out seven key questions which should be on the G7’s agenda, such as:
- How and where will climate change fuel instability across fragile settings around the world?
- How much and where will food prices fuel instability across fragile settings around the world?
- Where will stresses on water governance increase security risks?
If tackled in time, appropriate responses to these seven questions could significantly reduce the risks that climate change entails for peace and stability. Lucas Destrijcker, report co-author and consultant at adelphi, which co-leads Weathering Risk, said: “The escalation of extreme climate change impacts in recent years shows us that the past is no longer a reliable indicator of the future. Working with expert Superforecasters allows us to look into the unknown and offer meaningful recommendations to the G7 that will help stave off some of the worst possible outcomes.”
Global instability, displacement, violent conflicts
Forecasters find that climate change will contribute significantly to global instability in the next decade, particularly in already fragile settings. Climate change will continue to contribute to massive levels of displacement in regions like Central Africa and the Horn of Africa. Forecasters also warn of increased fragility in megacities in lower-income countries, of food price spikes in import dependent contexts and significant risk of violent conflict linked to water resources. They also expect climate action to fall short over the next decade.
Such outcomes are far from inevitable, however, and the report suggests ways that the G7 could act to avert the worst. Janani Vivekananda, co-author and expert for climate diplomacy and security at adelphi, said: “Whilst its findings are undeniably grim, the report identifies priority ‘low regrets’ or ‘no regrets’ actions that the G7 could take now to avoid costly mistakes or climate-related security crises in the future.”
Benjamin Pohl, co-author and also expert for climate diplomacy and security at adelphi emphasised: “The cost of inaction on these risks is far higher than the cost of action. The international community can and must scale up action on climate change as well as its negative cascading effects on socio-economic and political stability. And the G7 should embrace responsibility for leading these efforts.”
Weathering Risk, led by adelphi and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), unites state-of-the-art climate impact data and expert conflict analysis to promote peace and resilience in a changing climate.
Contact: Lucas Destrijcker