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  • Author: Vane Moraa Aminga, Florian Krampe
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: There has been considerable attention on the conventional climate mitigation and adaptation debate in Africa, including the prominent efforts of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change in global climate forums. However, there is little understanding of how the African Union (AU) is discussing and responding to the security implications of climate change. This Policy Brief outlines key strengths of the African Union’s response, such as a rapidly evolving discourse around climate security and efforts to improve collaboration and coordination among different parts of the institution. But also, key weaknesses in the discourse around AU policy responses, such as the lack of tangible policy operationalization as well as financial unpreparedness and limited member state accountability. The Policy Brief makes recommendations highlighting entry points for advancing the understanding and response to climate-related security risks within the AU, such as: (a) develop and institutionalize coordinated responses to climate-related security risks, (b) develop strong climate security leadership within the African Union, and (c) change the narrative to focus on shared problems and therefore shared solutions—multilateralism rather than nationalism.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Multilateralism, Risk, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Elizabeth Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Climate change can increase the risks of violent conflict, create risks to human security, and challenge conflict recovery and peacebuilding in different contexts. In many parts of the world, women and girls are significantly affected by the respective and compounding effects of climate change and conflict. They can also be agents of change in addressing climate change, and peace and security issues. This SIPRI Insights paper explores how the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) national action plans (NAPs) of 80 states frame and respond to climate change and security. It finds that they do so in different ways. Seventeen states include direct mention of climate change in at least one of their plans. Of these, three states include comparatively higher numbers of specific goals and activities referencing climate change in different plans. The paper highlights a need for increased action in the area of climate change in WPS NAPs. It argues for a greater focus on supporting women and girls’ participation in action addressing climate-related security risks, as well as a need to evaluate how climate change is framed as a security risk in the plans.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Finland, Ireland, Global Focus
  • Author: Jiayi Zhou, Lisa Marie Dellmuth, Kevin M. Adams, Tina-Simone Neset, Nina von Uexkull
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Assessing the prospects for Zero Hunger—Sustainable Development Goal 2—requires an understanding of food security that goes beyond developmental or humanitarian issues, to include linkages with geopolitics. Geopolitical challenges cut across areas such as natural resources, trade, armed conflict and climate change where unilateralism and zero-sum approaches to security directly hamper efforts to eradicate hunger and undermine the frameworks that govern those efforts. The report provides an overview of how geopolitics interacts with these areas. Competition for agricultural resources can be both a cause and a consequence of geopolitical rivalry. International trade, while essential for food security, also creates vulnerabilities through supply disruptions—sometimes politically motivated. Armed conflict is a driver of food insecurity, which can itself feed into social unrest and violence. Climate change interacts with all three phenomena, reshaping both the physical landscape and political calculus. These overlapping linkages require further integrated policy engagement and analysis.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Trade and Finance, Governance, Food Security, Geopolitics, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Malin Mobjörk, Florian Krampe, Kheira Tarif
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Policymakers are increasingly concerned with the climate-related security risks—the adverse effects of climate change on peace and security. This SIPRI Policy Brief outlines four interrelated pathways between climate change and conflict: (a) livelihoods, (b) migration and mobility, (c) armed group tactics, and (d) elite exploitation. These illustrate the relationship between short- and long-term environmental changes linked to climate change; their impact on the root causes and dynamics of violent conflict; and the critical role of human action, reaction and inaction in mediating violent outcomes. As a policymaking tool, pathways help to identify and navigate the political space for mitigating violent conflict. They can support decision makers in navigating these complex relationships in conflict-affected and climate-exposed regions by integrating local context into analyses of the security and conflict risks of climate change. Pathways also help to facilitate policy planning in areas such as livelihoods, mobility, resource management and governance.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Development, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Karolina Eklöw, Florian Krampe, Malin Mobjörk, Dan Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Climate-related events left no region unaffected in 2018. These events demonstrate how climate change impacts are worsening. Despite increased geopolitical tensions that seem to undermine the Agenda 2030 or the Paris Agreement, global and regional organisations have been able to achieve some progress in addressing and mitigating climate-related security risks. This report, prepared for the Planetary Security Conference taking place in The Hague on 19–20 February 2019, feeds into the conversation by sketching the past year’s trends in relation to climate and security.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Geopolitics, Risk, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Johan Schaar
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) faces simultaneous crises of security, water scarcity and climate change. They are interlinked—the water crisis is exacerbated by climate change and may fuel conflict, while insecurity is an obstacle to dealing with other pressing issues. Together, the three constitute a confluence of crises that need to be addressed together. Authoritarian and militarized governments in MENA countries repress public discourse and action related to water and climate crises, viewing critics as threats to national security. But the elite’s own economic interests and role in the political economy make them vulnerable to the new risks and threats. The water and climate crises are mostly transboundary and require states to act together. But by prioritizing narrow security interests, states accord weak mandates to regional institutions, preventing agreements on shared challenges. A regional security framework is needed, encompassing water, climate and the current conflicts.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Water, Disarmament, Risk
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Camilla Born, Karolina Eklöw, Malin Mobjörk
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The security implications of climate change have increasingly been debated in the United Nations Security Council. Yet, there is a growing concern by many UN member states about the lack of adequate responses to the risks that climate change poses to peace and security. In recent years, some modest but notable changes at the UN have taken place, of which the creation of the Climate Security Mechanism is the primary example. This SIPRI Policy Brief summarizes the recent evolution of the climate security debate in the UN and highlights three priority areas for future action: (a) supporting and establishing climate security action in the field, (b) nurturing knowledge provision and (c) building sustainable sources of financing for climate security action. All these steps will require committed actors, innovation and long-term investment. Escalating climate impacts make the mitigation of climate-related security risks by the UN and its member states not only demanded but urgent. Recent institutional progress demonstrates that committed and cooperative actors can drive institutional change. This progress must be bolstered and action delivered in the field.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Environment, United Nations, Risk
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Karolina Eklöw, Florian Krampe
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Climate-related security risks are transforming the security landscape in which multilateral peacebuilding efforts take place. This policy paper offers a glimpse into the future of peacebuilding in the time of climate change by providing an in-depth assessment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Climate-related change in Somalia has reduced livelihood options and caused migration. It has also left significant parts of the population in a vulnerable condition. These climate-related security risks contribute to grievances and increase inequality and fragility, which in turn pose challenges to the implementation of UNSOM’s mandate. The impacts of climate change have hindered UNSOM in its work to provide peace and security in Somalia and in its efforts to establish functioning governance and judicial systems. UNSOM has responded to the growing impact of climate-related change. It has learned lessons from previous failed responses—notably the 2011 drought—and has created innovative initiatives that have been effective. While there is still room for improvement, UNSOM’s new initiatives may help to deliver a set of responses that meet the short-term need for a rapid humanitarian response and the long-term objective of achieving a sustainable and resilient society. The challenges faced by UNSOM and its responses to them have wider implications. They suggest that there is a need for synergetic policy responses that can turn the responses to climate-related security risks into opportunities for UN efforts to sustain peace.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Migration, Governance, Risk, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Florian Krampe, Roberta Scassa, Giovanni Mitrotta
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The transnational character of climate-related security risks often goes beyond the capacity of national governments to respond adequately. As such, it creates challenges for and increases the relevance of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). It is, therefore, not only important to understand the climate-related security risks that regions are experiencing but also to analyse how regional IGOs are developing their capacities to deal with these risks. This SIPRI Insights presents a concise analysis of four regional IGOs—two in Asia and two in Africa. The main findings show that, in various ways, climate-related security risks have found their way into the IGOs’ policy frameworks and institutional discourse. Furthermore, it was found that both the regional security context and the regions’ vulnerability to climate change affect the framing of climate-related security risks.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Risk
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Asia, West Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Florian Krampe, Pernilla Nordqvist
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The impacts of climate change are increasingly viewed as global security risks, which will have far-reaching implications for both human and renewable natural systems. Most climate–conflict research has focused on East Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. This SIPRI Insights explores and summarizes the findings from a systematic literature review of climate–conflict research on South Asia and South East Asia. Although these regions have been greatly affected by both climate change and conflict, there have only been a small number of rigorous academic studies that focus on the climate–conflict relationship. While this constrains the ability to draw general conclusions, there is context-specific evidence that climate change can have an effect on the causes and dynamics of violent conflict in the region when: (a) it leads to a deterioration in people’s livelihoods; (b) it influences the tactical considerations of armed groups; (c) elites use it to exploit social vulnerabilities and resources; and (d) it displaces people and increases levels of migration. In acknowledging that these mechanisms are often interlinked and more noticeable in some climatic, conflict and socio-economic contexts than in others, the need for more research in both regions is clear.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Conflict, Risk
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Jiayi Zhou
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, climate change has become increasingly embedded within global security discourse, but whether it should be formally considered as a matter for the international peace and security agenda remains contested. Moreover, while the adverse effects of climate change on natural, societal and governance systems clearly amounts to a threat that is transnational in scope, the international response remains dependent on positions taken at a national level. The United Nations Security Council represents a key forum and lens into this debate, within which national governments’ positions on climate security continue to diverge
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus