We need to do more to understand how climate change and conflict are linked. Here's why
The impacts of climate change are increasingly viewed as global security risks, which will have far-reaching implications for both human and renewable natural systems.
Most climate–conflict research has focused on East Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The SIPRI Insights paper, Climate change and violent conflict: Sparse evidence from South Asia and South East Asia, explores and summarizes the findings from a systematic literature review of climate–conflict research on South Asia and South East Asia.
Although these regions have been greatly affected by both climate change and conflict, there have only been a small number of rigorous academic studies that focus on the climate–conflict relationship.
While this constrains the ability to draw general conclusions, there is context-specific evidence that climate change can have an effect on the causes and dynamics of violent conflict in the region when: (a) it leads to a deterioration in people’s livelihoods; (b) it influences the tactical considerations of armed groups; (c) elites use it to exploit social vulnerabilities and resources; and (d) it displaces people and increases levels of migration.
In acknowledging that these mechanisms are often interlinked and more noticeable in some climatic, conflict and socio-economic contexts than in others, the need for more research in both South Asia and South East Asia is clear.
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Climate change and violent conflict: Sparse evidence from South Asia and South East Asia, Pernilla Nordqvist and Florian Krampe, the Stockholm International Peace Research Insitute