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.
Climate change and environmental degradation are altering the regional and seasonal availability and quality of water. The resulting competition over water use may lead to conflict and sometimes violence. In our Editor’s Pick, we present 10 case studies from our interactive ECC Factbook that analyse the linkages between water and conflict.
The region at the base of the Himalayas faces difficult tradeoffs when allocating water for energy production versus agricultural, industrial, and domestic uses. As weather patterns are becoming irregular, the construction of new power plants faces increasing resistance from local communities, resulting in social disruptions and instability. Keith Schneider argues that governments must look beyond hydropower and coal.
The Asia-Pacific region is extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts. Frequent flooding and extreme weather events, and ecosystem collapse, could undo hard-won achievements in economic and human development. However, as a new report by the Asian Development Bank argues, Asia also has the opportunity be a leader in green technologies.
Rapid population growth can impede efforts to combat poverty, particularly in places where environmental disasters and climate changes damage livelihoods. Lesotho is an example of how fragile the future seems for Africa, large parts of which face the prospect of new famine and, in consequence, further catastrophic displacement within and among their growing populations.
Climate finance is supposed to fund projects in developing countries that support the path towards limiting global warming to 1,5°C – a goal that was confirmed in the Paris Agreement in December 2015. For this it needs a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development as the statute of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) states. At the same time, projects funded under climate finance should not hamper development or lead to the violation of human rights. Climate finance can therefore not only focus on the environmental aspects of the investments funded, but also needs to be incorporated into the wider context of development, as i.a. the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are reflecting.
Climate change will have a devastating impact on millions of people, threatening housing and agriculture. But it carries a terrible cost in terms of culture and tradition too. The young journalists and photographers hope to capture something of these cultures before they are lost for ever.
A racially-charged conflict between private landowners and nomadic herders in the drought-stricken county of Laikipia, Kenya, has spread to affect indigenous forest-dwellers. Water shortage is driving Maasai pastoralists to roam further in search of pasture for their flocks, encroaching on land managed for tourism and ranching primarily by white settlers. In recent months, they have also entered Mukogodo Forest, home to the Yaaku people, cutting down trees to feed livestock.
The war in Darfur, Sudan, is frequently cited as a classic example of a 'climate conflict’. In North Darfur, a project of UN Environment and its partners has now won the Land for Life Award. The project seeks solutions to address climate-fragility risks through the sustainable management of dryland areas, improving food security and increasing disaster resilience in communities which livelihoods are directly affected by climate change.
Of the 186 countries assessed in a recent survey of climate vulnerability, Chad was rated most in peril. A combination of high poverty, frequent conflicts, and the risk of both droughts and floods means the central African nation is bottom of the list, just below Bangladesh and some way behind Norway, the country least vulnerable to climate change.
Scientists agree that many countries in tropical, subtropical, and arid regions should expect changes to water availability and supply from climate change. The U.S. intelligence community has likewise warned of water-driven challenges not only for countries directly affected by water changes, but indirectly to various U.S. national security interests. Perhaps not surprisingly then, the popular literature has been quite clear about prophesizing wars over water.
Across the world, land degradation is forcing people to flee their homes and homelands. Already, more than 500 million hectares of farmland – an area more than half the size of China – have been completely abandoned due to drought, desertification and land mismanagement.