Seven questions for the G7 – Superforecasting climate-fragility risks for the coming decade

Seven questions for the G7: Superforecasting climate-fragility risks for the coming decade
Devlen, Lena; Lucas Destrijcker, Warren Hatch, Marc Koehler, David McCullough, Michael Hornsby, Hannah Kurnoth, Benjamin Pohl and Janani Vivekananda 2022: Seven questions for the G7. Superforecasting climate-fragility risks for the coming decade. Berlin: adelphi.

In this report, Superforecasters spotlight key indicators that G7 decision-makers should monitor over the next decade to provide early warning of the threats that climate change poses to global stability and human security.

The links between climate change and conflict are complex, and involve a host of other conditions, but they are real and they demand attention from policymakers.

Thanks to increasingly sophisticated models, the physical impacts of climate change can be predicted with ever-more granular accuracy (see Weathering Risk’s Climate Risk Profile for Somalia, for example). However, in order to predict how these factors will affect peace and stability, and identify key areas requiring policymakers’ attention, we have to bring in qualitative approaches that take into account a wide, and often difficult to predict, range of factors. Explore the Weathering Risk Methodology here.

That is why Weathering Risk has worked with Good Judgment, the world’s most accurate geopolitical and geoeconomic forecasting entity, to produce the report:

Seven questions for the G7. Superforecasting climate-fragility risks for the coming decade

For the report, 30 of the top Superforecasters were asked to answer seven questions about climate-linked risks over the coming decade until 2031:

  1. How effective will multilateralism be in the next decade, in particular around the global climate regime?
  2. To what extent will climate change strengthen international solidarity?
  3. How and where will climate change fuel instability across fragile settings around the world?
  4. How much and where will food prices fuel instability across fragile settings around the world?
  5. As climate change impacts intensify, where and to what extent will megacities in low- and lower-middle-income countries become more fragile?
  6. Where will stresses on water governance increase security risks?
  7. Will oil-producing countries remain stable in a decarbonising world economy?

These questions were examined first through a narrower set of objectively falsifiable forecast metrics, followed by a wider discussion of the overarching questions.

Taken together, the consensus views from the Superforecasters paint an alarming picture of the world in 2031: our planet will (still) be on track for disastrous global warming by the end of this century, with insufficient finance available for effective adaptation or mitigation. Climate change will increasingly contribute to population displacement, fragility in megacities and spikes in food prices. It will also accelerate factors that could contribute to instability in countries relying on fossil fuel exports, and international conflicts between countries sharing river systems.

However, such outcomes are far from inevitable. Policymakers’ action on these risk areas can avert the worst consequences. If they leverage their power, lead by example, and constructively engage partners, G7 nations have it in their hands to avoid the worst outcomes.