Climate-Fragility Risk Brief: Libya

Brubacher, Matthew 2021: Climate-Fragility Risk Brief: Libya. Berlin: adelphi.

Heavily reliant on fossil fuel exports for revenue, Libya has one of the world’s highest exposures to fluctuations in global oil prices. This creates particular challenges as the prospect of a global clean energy transition gathers momentum. Moreover, recurring conflicts and the resulting institutional fragmentation have made Libya ill-equipped to respond to the resulting risks to its stability.  

But peak oil is not the only long-term stability risk that climate change poses to Libya. The Climate-Fragility Risk Brief highlights that rising temperatures and dependence on fossil water threaten Libya’s water and energy security, and consequently its water-intensive agricultural sector.

Fortunately, provided there is sufficient political will, these issues can be addressed even while peace in Libya remains fragile. This Climate-Fragility Risk Brief identifies the following solutions:

  • Libya needs to diversify its sources of public revenue to make it less reliant on hydrocarbon exports.
  • Libya needs an integrated water policy to ensure that its management of water resources is sustainable.
  • Libya’s large-scale agricultural experiment in the desert needs to be reviewed to use less water-intensive crops and more water-efficient technologies.
  • Libya must stabilise its electricity grid by, among other measures, investing in critical clean-energy infrastructure and subsidy reforms.

Discover the Climate Security Expert Network (CSEN) to learn even more about the links between climate and security, the impact of the climate crisis on security and the responses to these issues. The CSEN, which comprises around 30 international experts based all over the world, devotes its research to precisely these topics. The Federal Foreign Office supports the network financially. adelphi manages the CSEN secretariat.

To contact the author, please email: