A roadmap on climate and security for the Agence Française de Développement

United Nations Security Council Debate on climate-related security risks

Our understanding of climate change and its direct consequences has progressed significantly over the past decade, as has our knowledge of the relationship between climate change, security and peace. There is also a broad consensus that human insecurity increases the risk of violent conflict, and thus poses a threat to international peace and security. However, to date, researchers have mainly focused on assessing the direct effects of climate change on conflict, without fully taking into account the cascading risks it can trigger. Too little attention also continues to be paid to the role of gender norms and power dynamics in shaping responses to these crises. However, given the limited progress in international climate policy development, significant efforts are needed to develop action plans for crisis and conflict management policy that integrate climate issues more systematically into political institutions and processes. 

In a context where crises are becoming ever longer and more complex, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group has made Sustainable Peace a major commitment alongside climate and social inclusion. While many of its intervention countries are considered fragile, AFD adopted a “Crisis Vulnerabilities and Resilience” strategy in 2017, an operational version of France's “Prevention, Resilience and Sustainable Peace” strategy. Within this framework, AFD is committed to “3D” development in these countries which combines actions and objectives in defence, diplomacy and development by working in an articulated manner with diplomatic and defence actors. The Fragile Crises and Conflicts Division is tasked by AFD's strategic documents with a mandate to prevent crises and build peaceful societies. A shared understanding of the security-climate nexus is the first necessary step in the development of joint operations dedicated to the climate-security issue. 

To this end, AFD's Crisis and Conflict Fragility Division commissioned adelphi to produce an analysis that will enable AFD to propose a positioning on the subject of climate and security. More specifically, the work proposes to support the Crisis and Conflict Fragility Division in the implementation of its mandate to help prevent development gains and trajectories from being undermined by crises, natural disasters and violent conflicts. It consists of different parts, including gathering and synthesising good practices, drawing lessons from field experiences in relation to operational staff and their needs, and proposing a synthesis of available experiences and information from the literature and practices of the institution (for example on the basis of past projects) and other development partners. This information will be summarised in a position paper to inform AFD's strategy on climate and security going forward.