Climate security - a new generation of environmental conflict looms

Climatic changes threaten to lead to violent conflicts over water and fertile land. Tensions over dwindling resources have already arisen in the past. An analysis of environmental conflicts to date shows that they arose principally in a locally limited context and were able to be contained, not least through cooperation. Predictions emerging from climate research suggest that, particularly in unstable regions such as in large parts of Africa, new challenges will arise. In order to avoid a new generation of environmental conflicts from occurring, the adaptation debate is acquiring ever greater significance, something which has so far been neglected in international climate negotiations. The EU has recognised this fact and pledged at its Spring 2008 Council meeting to tackle the security policy implications of climate change.

Dennis Tänzler and Alexander Carius

adelphi-research - Berlin, Germany

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