Understanding climate-related security risks: Weathering Risk presents a new methodology

06/03/2021 - Climate change threatens peace and security – ‘Weathering Risk’, a scalable assessment approach, anticipates and addresses the increasing risk of conflicts and instability in a changing climate. Developed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and adelphi, Weathering Risk combines quantitative and qualitative research to identify climate-related security risks and actionable responses to avoid them. The assessments will be piloted in various national contexts, among others in Mali, Sudan and the Pacific.
Understanding climate-related security risks: Weathering Risk presents a new methodology

"The contexts in which climate change exacerbates risks of conflicts have thus far been poorly understood,” explains Barbora Sedova, Co-Leader of the FutureLab - Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration at PIK, and co-lead of Weathering Risk. “To analyze the complex association between climate and conflict, within Weathering Risk, we combine state of the art methods from across disciplines such as climate impact modelling, machine learning, stakeholder interviews and field research."

Weathering Risk will contribute to enhancing the understanding of when and how climate-related security risks emerge. Based on the newest climate impact forecasts, expert consultations and context-specific socio-economic analyses, the approach will be piloted for specific national contexts within the next two years, including Mali, Sudan and the Pacific, as well as for specific sectoral impacts such as food, water or migration.

Janani Vivekananda, Head of the Climate Diplomacy and Security programme at adelphi and co-lead of Weathering Risk, further explained: “Our aim is to generate and facilitate risk-informed entry points in order to prevent the escalation of climate-related conflicts and instability already being witnessed” The approach will be replicable and flexible in application in terms of geography and depth of analysis. A set of tools and guiding documents, easy-to access climate change impact data and Climate Risk Profiles for select countries will be developed to allow different stakeholders to conduct and inform their respective assessment.

The initiative is supported by the  Federal Foreign Office and guided by a strategic advisory board of leading experts from the fields of  development, climate, environmental, foreign and security policy, and in close collaboration with multiple UN agencies and multilateral organizations.

Weathering Risk website:



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