Is climate change a major security threat? How has research on climate and conflict progressed in recent years? And where should it move forward? This brief essay reflects on some ways in which climatic changes could constitute a threat to peace and stability. Rather than assuming a direct causal link, the essay argues that climate change may exert an indirect and conditional effect on conflict risk, increasing the security gap between affluent societies well able to cope with climate change and societies already suffering from violence and instability, who are unlikely to achieve successful adaptation on their own. For this reason, peace building is quite possibly the most effective climate resilience policy in unstable corners of the world.
Buhaug, Halvard (2016) Climate Change and Conflict: Taking Stock, Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy 22 (4): 331–338.