Addressing Climate-related Security Risks: Towards a Programme for Action

Mosello, Beatrice; Christian König, Adam Day and Chitra Nagarajan 2021: Addressing Climate-related Security Risks: Towards a Programme for Action. Berlin: adelphi.

This policy paper explores some of the emerging approaches to analysing and responding to climate-related security risks in development programming. It is based on discussions amongst bilateral and multilateral development agencies held at the development-focused session of the three-part Climate Security in 3D series, organised on 24 March 2021 by Wilton Park and adelphi, with the support of the UK Government and Weathering Risk. Supplementary information was gathered through desk-based research and 12 interviews conducted with climate and conflict advisers in relevant governments and donor organisations.

The event highlighted the growing relevance of climate-security at the policy and programmatic levels, alongside a growing willingness by the UNSC and other multilateral forums to discuss the links between climate change and security risks. An emerging focus on preventive action proves that climate-security is gaining traction across the multilateral system. Despite this increasing recognition, many states have not translated climate-security into programmatic responses. Moreover, issues of inclusion – in particular around gender – are far from fully addressed in national programming.

The paper proposes that bilateral and multilateral donors and governments take the following steps to deliver on the climate-security agenda:

  • Move towards integrated strategies that deliver on both climate resilience and peace;
  • Focus on inclusion and social transformation;
  • Develop multi-scalar strategies that address local, national, and regional dynamics together;
  • Invest more in learning and capacity-building;
  • Frame climate-security as a clear complement to the broader climate change discussion.