Security Implications of Climate Change: PIK at US Africa Command Symposium

01/28/2022 - Participants from across the globe attended a two-day Security Implications of Climate Change Symposium at U.S. Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, Jan. 27-28.
Security Implications of Climate Change: PIK at US Africa Command Symposium
The U.S. Africa Command hosted a symposium on "Security Implications of Climate Change" (photo: USAFRICOM Public Affairs)

The event convened subject matter experts on the impacts of climate change in Africa with decision-makers, planners, and other stakeholders to better understand and plan for security implications across the continent. The Potsdam Institute was invited to speak about the basis of it all, the physical impacts.

“Climate change undermines living conditions. As such, it poses a very fundamental risk to human security. Our research sheds light on the question of how and under which circumstances a warming planet can drive conflicts: For example, inequality and food insecurity are exacerbated, natural resources diminish and populations are displaced”, explains Barbora Šedová, researcher at the Potsdam Institute and Co-Leader of the Future Lab on Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration. She spoke on the expert panel on “Climate Change and Africa – Physical Impacts”, presenting scientific assessments of current and future climatic changes and sectoral impacts with a special focus on Somalia. The analysis, which is part of the Weathering Risk project, serves as an important basis for systematically addressing climate-induced security risks by enhancing foresight, preventive action and resilience of vulnerable populations, sectors and institutions.

“This symposium made it clear that also the military will play an active role in addressing the climate-related security challenges. But when and how military capacities could contribute to a peaceful climate - that remains an open question. Scientific analysis of the pathways through which climate-related security risks unfold are essential for facilitating context-specific peacebuilding interventions in a changing climate. PIK therefore welcomed the invitation to contribute to this debate”, Šedová says.


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