Climate and Security: New approaches to address climate fragility risks

Drought Africa

States and societies are increasingly under pressure by a multitude of shocks and stressors, including population growth, resource constraints and political unrest. Climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’. It will worsen already fragile situations, making it harder to promote peace, adaptation and sustainable development. Security concerns resulting from climate change include impacts on food and water supply, increased competition over natural resources, climate-related disasters and loss of livelihoods, migration and displacement. Conflict-affected countries, including those recently emerging from conflict, are amongst the most vulnerable to the security risks of climate change, due in part to fragile governance mechanisms and lack of resources. Simultaneously, existing situations of fragility hamper efforts to adapt to climate change. This threatens to hinder peace and lock many societies into ‘fragility traps’.

To tackle the destabilizing effects of climate change in fragile contexts comprehensive and cross-sectoral responses are required. To develop and test practical approaches to address these climate fragility risks on the ground UN Environment, in cooperation with the European Union, commissioned adelphi to develop a guidance document and support the field component for their joint project “Climate Change and Security”. The project is designed as a response to the recommendations of the ‘A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks’ report (2015) commissioned by members of the G7.

adelphi will advise the project team on the design and implementation of the field component in Nepal and Sudan, including baseline development and data collection, establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system and capacity building for implementation staff. In the project’s inception phase a guidance tool to appraise climate-fragility risks and carry out climate security assessments at national and local levels was drafted by adelphi. The tool will be developed further and adapted based on the experiences made during implementation. adelphi will also be responsible for developing communication tools and advising the project on outreach activities.