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Related commentary: Climate change and risk

Climate change, food security and conflict

Although climate change is defined using environmental terms, it should be understood in a comprehensive framework taking into account conflict, food security and health. The official definition, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is 'a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods'. Yet this masks the wider set of issues within the climate debate – the ways in which climate change endangers livelihoods and threatens peace through climate-induced resource conflicts.

The unfolding humanitarian crisis around Lake Chad: UN report falls short of naming environmental dimensions

Dr Florian Krampe provides commentary on the newly launched Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin region, arguing that the report would have been stronger if it had highlighted the underlying environmental contributions of the region’s fragility.

Towards a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace - a reality too complex to tweet? 

Just like UNSC resolution 1325 and follow-up resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, feminist organisations – this time together with researchers – have driven awareness of the gender, climate change and security nexus. There is a long way to go, but there is strong interest from a wide range of stakeholders in supporting research on this nexus, to inform their work.

Towards climate resilient peacebuilding: Understanding the complexities

In 2017 there were 63 peace operations active—of which 13 were UN Peacekeeping operations. Many of these have been in place for decades, some even half a century, like those missions in Israel and Palestine or in Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Of course, the challenge of such peacebuilding missions is not only to stop violence and prevent a rekindling of conflict, but moreover to help societies and governments reset their internal relations on a peaceful path towards sustaining peace.

Climate Security in times of geopolitical crises—what ways forward?

Ahead of the fourth Planetary Security Conference on 19–20 February 2019 in The Hague, SIPRI authored the 2019 progress report ‘Climate Security – Making it #Doable.’ The report reviews progress made to address climate-related security risks in a time of growing geopolitical turmoil. The authors highlight three upcoming processes that will be key in shaping actions on climate security in 2019 and beyond.

NATO in a climate of change

During last year's Munich Security Conference, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke about facing an increasingly more uncertain and unpredictable security environment. Speaking from the perspective of NATO, he argued that although allies disagree on certain issues, such as climate change, it is crucial to stand together.

Scope for improvement: Linking the Women, Peace and Security Agenda to climate change

This SIPRI Essay discusses key findings from the Insights on Peace and Security paper ‘Climate Change in Women, Peace and Security Agenda National Action Plans’, which examines how the United Nations Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda national action plans (NAPs) frame climate change, and how may they promote women’s participation in addressing related risks.

Why United Nations peace operations cannot ignore climate change

On 23 February the United Nations (UN) Security Council will hold an open session on the topic of climate change and security. The security implications of climate change are highly diverse, crossing and linking different sectors of society. They have a particular relevance for the peace operations conducted by the UN (see box 1 and figure 1 below). As of December 2020:

Abyei offers lessons for the region on climate-related security risks

Weather, weapons and wealth have all played roles in the long-running conflict between South Sudan and Sudan over the Abyei area. The conflict in Abyei—a disputed border region of farmland, desert and oil fields—has its origins in a long-running disagreement between two pastoralist groups, the local Ngok Dinka and Misseriyya Arab seasonal migrants (see figure 1).

Russia’s ‘nyet’ does not mean climate security is off the Security Council agenda

On Monday, 13 December, Russia used its veto in the United Nations Security Council to block a thematic resolution on climate change and security. While the draft resolution contained specific actions, its main purpose was symbolic: to put the security implications of climate change firmly on the Security Council’s agenda.