Climate change is not the only—or even the main—driver of international discord but there is increasing evidence that it’s effect increase the risk of violent conflict in many contexts.
Ilwad Elman, a panellist for SIPRI’s Environment of Peace initiative, addressed a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the effects of climate change on international peace and security.
The session was intended to illustrate how the climate crisis is affecting worldwide peace and security while opening a discussion of practical actions the Security Council can take to address climate-related security risks.
In her briefing, Elman, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Elman Peace in Somalia, observed that climate change and other environmental problems are an increasingly important factor in building peace: ‘Peacebuilding goals and mediation efforts cannot succeed or be sustained unless we address the broader environmental issues related to security’.
Elman called for greater support to be given to local peacebuilding practitioners and civil society organizations facing the daily reality of climate-related security challenges. She also stressed that discussions on climate change and security too often exclude the voices of the most affected and overlook their needs.
During her briefing, Elman introduced the work of the Environment of Peace initiative. Environment of Peace will launch a report in May 2022, shortly before the Stockholm+50 conference in Stockholm, marking 50 years since the landmark UN Conference on the Human Environment. The report will present the best available evidence on security challenges linked to environmental change as well as risks and opportunities for peace that arise from the transition to a greener, more sustainable future.
Read more about the Environment of Peace initiative.
Watch a recording of the meeting here.