High-level seminar on security implications of climate change


von Uexkull

There are growing concerns that climate change will increase political instability. Acting on these concerns, the Swedish government seeks to put the security implications of climate change on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. This was the message of Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, at a seminar at the Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm last week. Among several thematic presentations at the seminar, Nina von Uexkull, researcher at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, reviewed the state of knowledge about the impact of climate variability on the risk of armed internal conflict with a focus on agricultural income and food production as an important pathway. She emphasized that extant research indicates that climate variability is not among the main causes of armed conflict, but it may be a contributing factor where there is already fertile ground for violence. The seminar was jointly organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Stockholm Resilience Centre and SIPRI. Environmental change and conflict are the focus of several ongoing research projects at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research.