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Climate change and security

Climate change and security. Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

The Climate Change and Security project aims to deepen knowledge on how, when and why climate-related security risks arise, and how these risks can be mitigated, strengthening human security and long-term sustainable peace (Sustainable Develop Goals 13 and 16). The research focuses both on risks and risk management. It assesses climate-related security risks in fragile, violent and unstable contexts and investigates the responses from governments and international organizations. The project has been funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs since 2015.

Examples of the on-going work include  an effort to analyse how different European Union (EU) organizations, policies, development interventions and EU delegations frame and respond to climate-related security risks. The research provides an overview of where possible entry points exist for strengthening the EU’s capacity to proactively manage and mitigate security risks posed by environment and climate change. Another example is the cross-cutting work on gender that examines the relationship between gender, climate and security, and how institutions respond to this intersection.

The project works to identify, assess and mitigate climate-related security risks. This research stream builds upon previous work on the linkages between climate-related change and security risks. First, the project aims to maintain and build a strong evidence base and conduct state-of-the-art analysis on climate-related security risks through synthesis reports. Second, the project focuses on how climate-related security risks affect peacebuilding efforts. This research serves as a knowledge base for policy actors within the Swedish Government and supports actors within the United Nations, such as the Climate Security Mechanism and regional organizations.

Further, the project analyses organizations’ responses to climate-related security risks. This stream deepens SIPRI’s research on institutional responses to climate-related security risks, and supports the development of response strategies to risks. The work focuses on regional inter-governmental organizations, especially the EU, and the AU and its sub-regional organizations.