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.
The ECC Factbook is a powerful map-tool to explore the complex relationships between climate and environmental change and situations of fragility around the world.
Incorporating the compound risks from the report “A New Climate for Peace”, you can search for cases that illustrate the mechanisms in a wide variety of localities and settings.
Local resource competition
As the pressure on natural resources increases, competition can lead to instability and even violent conflict in the absence of effective dispute resolution.
Cases: In the ECC Factbook, these dynamics are captured in cases on pastoralist conflicts in the Sahel and on communal violence in Mauritania and Senegal and water scarcity in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo.
Livelihood insecurity & migration
Climate changes will increase the human insecurity of people who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, which could push them to migrate or to turn to informal and illegal sources of income.
Cases: We illustrate different aspects of this phenomenon: In Somalia, we explore how environmental degradation leads to an uptake of charcoal trade that fuels violent conflict. In Nigeria, we look at severe social unrest as an effect of oil exploration. And in the South China Sea, we analyze how the threat to the livelihoods of fishermen is entangled with existing tensions over fossil fuels.
Extreme weather events & disasters
Extreme weather events and disasters will exacerbate fragile situations and can increase people’s vulnerability and grievances, especially in countries affected by conflict.
Cases: In the Factbook, we explore these dynamics in the Philippines after Typhon Haiyan, in Thailand after the 2011 floods and also in the civil war in Darfur, Sudan.
Volatile food prices & provision
Climate change is highly likely to disrupt food production in many regions, increasing prices and market volatility, and heightening the risk of protests, rioting, and civil conflict.
Cases: In the Factbook, we present an analysis of global food price shocks and explore the dynamics on the ground, for example in the Syrian Civil War.
Transboundary water management
Transboundary water management is frequently a source of tension. As demand grows and climate impacts affect availability and quality, competition over water use will likely increase pressure on existing governance structures.
Cases: In the Factbook, we feature a large number of transboundary water conflicts, ranging from the Indus Basin over the Nile to Lake Chad.
Sea-level rise & coastal degradation
Rising sea levels will threaten the viability of low-lying areas even before they are submerged, leading to social disruption, displacement, and migration. At the same time, disagreements over maritime boundaries and ocean resources may increase.
Cases: In the ECC Factbook, we study this dynamic using the example of coastal degradation in Bangladesh.
Unintended effects of climate policies
As climate adaptation and mitigation policies are more broadly implemented, the risks of unintended negative effects—particularly in fragile contexts—will also increase.
Cases: In the ECC Factbook, these effects are examined in Palm Oil conflicts in Indonesia, and in the Santa Rita Dam conflict in Guatemala.