A New Climate for Peace

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.


Resilience Compass

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.


Factbook, Readings, Events

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.

Thematic Reading

G7 Germany
International Alert
The Wilson Center
New Security Beat climate change environment environmental security featured Guest Contributor humanitarian security Uncharted Territory

It’s Time We Think Beyond “Threat Multiplier” to Address Climate and Security

21 January, 2020 by Josh Busby (University of Texas)

Soldier, protect women, collect firewood, South Sudan, security, climate change

If you have even a passing familiarity with the climate and security literature, you undoubtedly have come across the phrase “threat multiplier.” The phrase conveys the idea that climate change intersects with other factors to contribute to security problems. It’s used as short-hand to avoid the charge of environmental determinism, that climate change somehow on its own causes negative security outcomes.

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Beware the Dark Side of Environmental Peacebuilding

08 January, 2020 by Tobias Ide (University of Melbourne)

India, Ganges, river, boat, fishermen

Environmental peacebuilding is a good idea. As a practice, it aims to address simultaneously environmental problems and challenges related to violent conflict. Examples include the promotion of environmental cooperation between rival states, conflict-sensitive adaptation to climate change, and restoring access to land and water in post-conflict societies. However, environmental peacebuilding can negatively affect development, chip away at environmental protection, and erode peace. In new study, Tobias Ide highlights six different aspects of the dark side of environmental peacebuilding.

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Mohamed’s Story: The Climate Conflict Trap in the Lake Chad Basin

19 November, 2019 by Noah Gordon, adelphi

photo of comic

Years ago, Mohamed’s family had enough to eat, despite being poor. His daughter owned a vegetable stall at a bustling market in northeastern Nigeria. The family had options: during the dry season, when Lake Chad was shallow, Mohamed could farm; and during the wet season, he could fish or graze his cattle. But then things began to change.

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New Security Beat adaptation climate change community-based conflict cooperation democracy and governance environment environmental peacemaking environmental security featured

Climate Change, Conflict, and Peacebuilding in Solomon Island Communities

04 November, 2019 by Kate Higgins (Conciliation Resources) and Josiah Dora Maesua (UNDP Solomon Islands)

Solomon Islands, Pacific, Climate change, sea, communities

Meaningful engagement with the social and conflict implications of climate change in Solomon Islands must be firmly grounded within local worldviews—within Solomon Islanders’ physical, economic, political, and social and spiritual worlds. As we note in a recent policy brief for the Toda Peace Institute, when addressing conflict challenges exacerbated or caused by climate change, approaches should be drawn upon community understandings of what constitutes peace and justice.

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Hydro-Nationalism: Future Water Woes Call for Radical New Borders

23 October, 2019 by Zachary Q. McCarty (St. Olaf College) and Elizabeth L. Chalecki (University of Nebraska)

Rio Grande, Texas, river, water, basin, border The Rio Grande river in the state of Texas, United States. | © David Mark/Pixabay

International political boundaries are arbitrary creations. Today’s borders are better described as imaginary lines on maps, rather than hard barriers between states. Often using mountains, rivers, or other geographical landmarks, modern borders are entrenched in historic tradition rather than logic and fact. As a result, today’s international borders are poorly equipped to handle modern challenges, in particular climate change, which has already begun to threaten the most important state resource, fresh water.

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New Security Beat climate change conflict environment featured Guest Contributor security

How Terrorists Leverage Climate Change

09 September, 2019 by Scott Somers (Arizona State University)

Policymakers and emergency managers tend to build a conceptual wall between natural hazards and terrorism. The causes of—and remedies for—these two kinds of disasters are seen as separate and distinct. But, in the era of climate change, the wall between the two is crumbling. As climate and weather patterns shift, the resulting environmental crisis is being leveraged as a tool for terror and political violence.

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Providing Water Security in an Uncertain World

20 August, 2019 by Nathanial Matthews (Global Resilience Partnership)

India, water

A problem is looming. Most water infrastructure isn’t designed to meet the demands of the increasingly volatile world that climate change is producing. Our modern landscape requires a reconceptualization of infrastructure’s demands and needs that often defies convention. And nowhere is a flexible and responsive approach more crucial than in water infrastructure, where we are experiencing unprecedented changes in flows and increasing pressures on consumption, according to Wellspring: Source Water Resilience and Climate Adaptation, a new report from the Global Resilience Partnership, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation and The Nature Conservancy. The report explores some ways practitioners can take a new approach to source water protection that would enhance resilience and help sustain communities and ecosystems in a shifting climate.

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New Security Beat development environment featured Guest Contributor security

Lost in Translation: How Building “Strong” Institutions can Diminish Human Security in the Global South

30 July, 2019 by McKenzie F. Johnson

Environmental institutions have been established in the global south to improve environmental regulation and increasingly contentious extractive landscapes, but they lack in generating positive incomes on the ground. In many countries illegal mining and logging, violent conflict over resource access and distribution, and environmental degradation still prevail. This paradox exists because environmental reform has limited non-elite access to resources while it helped multinational elites consolidate control over formal legal resource extraction, says McKenzie F. Johnson from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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New Security Beat adaptation climate change conflict cooperation democracy and governance development environment environmental peacemaking environmental security featured

When Climate Change Meets Positive Peace

18 July, 2019 by Marisa O. Ensor

Climate change is being increasingly framed as a security issue—a “threat multiplier” that can amplify the risks of breakdowns in peacefulness. Yet, even extreme climate hazards do not always lead to higher levels of violence.

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New Security Beat agriculture conflict development environment featured Guest Contributor land livelihoods natural resources Sahel

Urban Elites’ Livestock Exacerbate Herder-Farmer Tensions in Africa’s Sudano-Sahel

14 June, 2019 by Matt Luizza

In recent years, conflict between herders and farmers for access to increasingly scarce natural resources in Africa’s Sudano-Sahel has escalated. While the problems fueling these tensions are both hyper-local and transnational in nature, one important piece of the puzzle has been overlooked. The real “elephant in the room” is who owns the livestock.

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New Security Beat biodiversity conflict conservation environment featured forests On the Beat protected areas security

Fostering Citizen Enforcement and Rule of Law Could Cut Down Illegal Logging

21 May, 2019 by Kyla Peterson