Global knowledge platform on climate-fragility risks

ECC Factbook, the interactive tool for environmental related conflicts

Climate change is a central security threat in the 21st century. A New Climate for Peace – Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks – an independent report compiled on behalf of the G7 states – identifies various climate and fragility risks that represent serious threats to the stability of states and societies. The risk is greatest where states and societies are no longer capable of peacefully managing and absorbing the shocks of a changing global climate. Climate change is the ultimate multiplier of risks that will heighten global fragility, contributing to social upheaval and even to violent conflicts. What role can foreign policy play in handling these risks? Which preventive measures are available to foreign policy in combating these structural causes of conflict?

This project, supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, was intended to assist foreign policy in better preparing for the coming flash points and point the way towards courses of action beyond those of traditional foreign policy. This project also tackled the all too often insufficient incorporation of results into political practice.

The G7 foreign ministers established a working group at their summit meeting in Lübeck for the development of tangible courses of action for combating climate and fragility risks. This G7 process can build on the knowledge platform that adelphi took the lead in developing on behalf of the G7 and that should serve to continue the discussion. Its expansion – in accordance with the needs of the G7 and in particular the working group put in place by the G7 foreign ministers – was therefore at the centre of this project.

The interactive platform offers political decision makers, experts and practitioners a discussion forum on the interplay between climate change, fragility and conflicts. The platform facilitates access to topically relevant information via regular screening and summarization of current scientific developments and international discussions.

Along with access to central analysis and insights from the study A New Climate for Peace, the platform summarises current developments on climate and fragility risks in the form of a blog and also provides an instrument for the analysis of climate-related risks worldwide and the comparison of approaches to prevention and solutions (ECC Factbook).

By using the knowledge platform and accompanying activities, this project contributed to ensuring that the insight that climate risks can function as structural causes of conflict is incorporated into political processes alongside the operationalisation of preventive measures. For this, current scientific and political debates were addressed on the ‘Resilience Compass’ blog and a dialogue was initiated with representatives of the G7 working group to learn about their priorities for the knowledge platform. In addition, briefings and workshops were conducted for diplomats from all G7 states, relevant international organisations and other donors like the European Commission, in order to spread the key outcomes of the report and the ECC Factbook, and to maximise the use and visibility of the platform.

Publications of this project