16 March 2020
  • GCA
  • climate change adaptation
  • security risks
  • peacebuilding
  • Conflict

GCA Paper: 'Making Peace with Climate Adaptation'

How can climate action contribute to peacebuilding? And how can peace intervention be more effective due to taking to account of climate impacts? This study on the role of climate adaptation in reducing security risks was commissioned by the Global Commission on Adaptation as part of a series of background papers for the 2019 Flagship Report Adapt Now.

The paper argues for using a political economy-informed approach to explore the role of adaptation in preventing conflicts and promoting peacebuilding. Climate change adaptation, to address climate-related security risks, ought to be timely, politically informed, and strategically targeted. In that way, it can contribute to the renewed emphasis on a preventive approach to conflict risks, based on sustainable development.

The study offers a set of specific recommendations for the international community:

  • Create or update systems for multidimensional early warning to support timely response to emerging climate challenges and risks.
  • Facilitate risk-tolerant financing for adaptation initiatives in insecure locations.
  • Develop nexus financing instruments to implement adaptation projects that arrive at multiple, mutual development, and security outcomes.
  • Borrow from the peace and security toolbox to support adaptation activities that include mediation, (public) diplomacy, and outreach to prevent compounding negative power dynamics and inequalities, which could heighten conflict risk.
  • Realign multilateral and government policy to facilitate timely, political economy-informed and strategically focused adaptation efforts.
  • Systematically draw on private sector and civil society analysis of climate risks and vulnerabilities for adaptation. 
  • Integrate multidimensional analysis that incorporates non-traditional security risks into standard security analysis processes.

Read the study here.

Photocredit: Ministerie van Defensie.


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