adelphi to conduct study on climate risks, fragility and conflict for the G7

As climate change increasingly impacts security and conflicts, the G7 governments have commissioned adelphi, International Alert, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the EU Institute for Security Studies to examine the dynamics of climate risks, and to identify appropriate foreign policy responses.


The G7 countries - Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the USA and the UK - have placed a strong focus on promoting ambitious international emission reduction targets. Going forward, the G7 aims to understand the effects of climate change in a more comprehensive manner, looking to answer the following questions: What are the risks posed by climate change to vulnerable, fragile and conflict-afflicted states and regions, and what role should foreign policy play when dealing with these challenges?

Study to establish a basis for discussions during spring 2015 meeting of G7 foreign ministers

adelphi will head an international consortium of leading research institutes –International Alert, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the European Institute of Security Studies – to support the G7 foreign ministers during this process. The goal of the comprehensive study is to consolidate existing knowledge regarding climate change, fragility and conflict and examine emerging interlinkages in the field. In addition to a thorough risk analysis, the focus of the study will be to identify possible solutions and policy options.

How can adaptation measures, development and peacebuilding processes be sensibly integrated? Where are the synergies and conflicting goals within approaches and between policies? And in which capacities, institutions and processes should the G7 invest its political and financial resources in order to prevent or actively address the risks and conflicts faced?

To answer these questions, the project will evaluate existing approaches and policy processes and use the results to develop alternative courses of action and policy options for the G7 foreign ministries. These will be presented and discussed during the Germany G7 presidency at the foreign ministries’ summit in Spring 2015. In addition, stakeholders across five continents will engage in discussions on risk perception, preventive policy approaches and strategies as part of a series of dialogues and consultations. The results of this process will also be part of the study.

New online knowledge platform to enable community dialogue on climate change and security

In addition to the study, the consortium will also to develop an online knowledge platform where new ideas, research results and practical experience on climate change, vulnerability and conflict can be discussed and presented. On the one hand, the interactive, web-based platform intends to consolidate topic-relevant, international discussions and extend the dialogue beyond the scope of the study. On the other hand, it will incorporate the opinions from scientific circles and civil society, particularly in affected regions, thereby complementing dialogue processes with partner institutions, governments and stakeholders from the affected regions.

Consortium of leading think tanks

The consortium led by adelphi will bring together some of the most renowned institutions working on global environmental, security and foreign policy: International Alert is a non-governmental organisation and leading institution in the field of conflict analysis and peacebuilding. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is one of the most prominent think tanks in the USA. Among a range of other activities, it publishes the blog ‘New Security Beat’ as part of their environmental change and security programme. The EU-Institute for Security Studies is the agency commissioned by the European Union dealing with the analysis of foreign, security and defence policy issues.

Since its establishment, adelphi has been working on climate, energy and resource issues, as well as their related impacts on foreign and security policy. As part of this work adelphi manages the Environment Conflict and Cooperation (ECC) platform, Since its launch ten years ago this online portal has become the world’s most-consulted portal for information on the topic.

The study was commissioned under the British G7 presidency and is supported by the German Foreign Office, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the French Foreign Ministry, the US State Department and the European Union (European External Action Service and the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation). An advisory board comprising of G7 foreign ministry representatives will oversee the process and content.