Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks
This independent report, commissioned by the G7 members, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to the stability of states and societies in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies on climate change adaptation, development cooperation and humanitarian aid, and peacebuilding, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete action, both as individual members and jointly, to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase resilience to them.
When climate change exacerbates conflicts and crises, resilience must be the compass for foreign policy. The Resilience Compass features news, reflections and opinions on climate change and fragility, with contributions from the Wilson Center’s New Security Beat, International Alert and guest authors.
This collection of resources complements and extends the analysis of the report. It contains an interactive factbook allowing users to explore case studies from around the world and provides background readings and contextualized report and event summaries.
“A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks”, an independent report commissioned by members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to the stability of states and societies in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies on climate change adaptation, development cooperation and humanitarian aid, and peacebuilding, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete action, both as individual members and jointly, to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies to them.
Climate change is a global threat to security in the 21st century. It will stress the world’s economic, social, and political systems. Where institutions and governments are unable to manage the stress or absorb the shocks of a changing climate, the risks to the stability of states and societies will increase.
The planet’s limited resources are under pressure. Demand for food, water, and energy is increasing. Widespread unemployment, rapid urbanization, and environmental degradation challenge efforts to reduce poverty and increase economic development in many poor countries. In fragile regions, persistent inequality, political marginalization, and unresponsive governments can increase the potential for instability and conflict. The addition of climate impacts will multiply these pressures and strain countries’ ability to meet their citizens’ needs.
When the impacts of climate change interact with other stresses, the combination can overburden weak states, spurring social upheaval and sometimes violent conflict. Even seemingly stable states can be pushed towards instability if the pressure is high enough or shock is too great. Seven compound climate-fragility risks emerge when climate change interacts with other social, economic, and environmental pressures:
The best way to diminish the threats posed by climate-fragility risks is to mitigate climate change. However, changes to the climate are already underway, so we must take steps to manage and minimize these risks today.
Single-sector interventions alone will not address the compound risks. Integrating policies and programs in three key sectors—climate change adaptation, development and humanitarian aid, and peacebuilding—is necessary to help strengthen resilience to climate-fragility risks and realize the significant co-benefits of integration.
Responding to the global strategic threat posed by climate change is too great a task for any single government. It is time for a new approach and new leadership from the highest level. The G7 has a singular opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to tackling one of the great challenges of our time: building resilience to climate-fragility risks. We recommend that the G7 governments commit to designing and implementing integrated responses at several levels: