International Crisis Group | Climate Change and Conflict

From the ICG website:

"The security implications of climate change are attracting increased attention, and for good reason. Scientific evidence shows that the earth is warming due largely to human activities and at a potentially unprecedented rate. Long-term changes in climate already have occurred and are projected to continue, including sea-level rises, more intense and longer droughts, more intense tropical storms, and more frequent heat waves and heavy precipitation events.

The potential consequences of these changes and of the environmental degradation associated with them are grave. They include food and water shortages, population shifts and economic losses. These in turn may increase a range of risks to human security, including the risk of deadly conflict.

Yet the relationship between climate change and conflict is complex and not yet sufficiently understood. This is in part because climate projections are somewhat limited in geographic and temporal specificity, and different societies have different capacities to adapt to changes and related effects. But it is also because the processes that produce violent conflict in any particular situation are often complicated. Although environmental change likely never has been and never will be the sole or proximate cause of deadly conflict, it can contribute to conditions that make it more likely or severe.

A key challenge today is to better understand the relationship between climate change, environmental degradation and conflict and to effectively manage associated risks through appropriate conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms." 

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