Bringing Different Disciplinary Perspectives to Climate Change and Conflict

The scientific evidence for climate change is unequivocal, and the scientific community continues to refine our understanding of the impacts of these changes. Many of these physical changes, such as heatwaves, droughts and sea-level rise, are projected to adversely affect human wellbeing. The scope of these impacts has prompted serious concern that climate change may… Read more »

Water Stress and Conflicts in Africa

Water scarcity is widely believed to be a common source of violent conflict. However, in a recent policy brief I wrote with Clionadh Raleigh, we show that a direct water-conflict link is largely refuted by empirical research. In the conventional narrative, it is believed that population growth coupled with scarce water resources will lead to… Read more »

What Do the Experts Think?

Connections between climate and security continue to be debated inside and outside of academia. Last week, I attended a workshop at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, together with Nina von Uexkull and nine other invited participants representing a variety of academic disciplines and viewpoints, to discuss impacts of climate variability and… Read more »

Making Our Planet Great Again: Climate Diplomacy and Cooperation at COP23

A measured dose of optimism and small steps towards implementing the Paris Agreement were overall good outcomes for this year’s climate conference held from November 6-17, known officially as the 23rd Convention of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Despite global security concerns, there was little of the rhetoric from earlier COPs where the security implications… Read more »

Let the Desertification Zombie Rest in Peace

The myth that African agriculture and livestock farming is causing desertification originated early in the colonial times. The reason was that colonial authorities wanted to exploit resources for their own profits. Efficient management of natural resources was presented as part of the white man’s burden. The losers were smallholder farmers and herders who lost access… Read more »

– No Land, No Life

Why are individuals willing to join armed groups and fight over land access? To find answers to this question I studied a militia in the Mt Elgon conflict in Kenya. A key finding of interviews with 75 ex-members of the SLDF militia was that the economic importance of land for farming communities is important for… Read more »

Climate Change, Jihadism and Policy Failures in the Sahel

On the 22 November 2017, the Subcommittee on Security and Defence in the European Parliament held a public hearing on the ‘The Security Dimension of Climate Change – What Implications for EU Common Security and Defence Policy?’. I was one of three invited speakers at this event, and talked about ‘Climate Security in the Sahel’…. Read more »

Climate, Peace and Security

Despite rapid scientific progress, firm knowledge about the societal consequences of global warming remains limited. What are the implications of climate change for peace and security? Should we expect more wars and more political instability as the world heats up? The real concerns linked to climate change are not about shrinking glaciers, eroding coastlines, or… Read more »

Welcome to the Climate & Conflict Blog

The Climate & Conflict blog publishes updates from relevant PRIO-based research, as well as general reflections on security dimensions of climate and environmental change, written by PRIO scholars and selected guest contributors. PRIO presently hosts three research projects that jointly have an overarching goal of addressing the relationship between climate and conflict: CAVE, CLIMSEC, and… Read more »