New Nordic-Baltic Network on Climate, Peace and Security Established

Published: 10 Jun 2021

In order to establish a sustainable knowledge base on climate, peace and security issues in the Nordic-Baltic region, twelve research institutes have come together to establish a research network on climate, peace and security.

The initiative to establish the network is anchored in the Climate-related Peace and Security Risks project co-lead by SIPRI and NUPI.

The aim of the network is to create a space for research cooperation and knowledge sharing, and to support member states from the region who serve on the UN Security Council and other multilateral and regional bodies.

The Nordic-Baltic Network was launched the 9th of June, and consisted of opening remarks from Ulf Sverdrup, Director at NUPI and Dan Smith, Director at SIPRI. Norwegian State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Audun Halvorsen, addressed the network highlighting Climate Change as a priority during Norway´s seat at the UN Security Council (2021-2022). Halvard Buhaug with PRIO followed up with a presentation on the security implications of climate change outlining research and reviews on climate and security.

  • Watch State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Audun Halvorsen's key note here:


  • Watch Research Professor Halvard Buhaug's (PRIO) presentation here:


Climate and Security

Climate change is transforming and redefining the global peace, security and development landscape. Its implications have become increasingly recognized within the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and European Union (EU).

The research literature on climate- related peace, security and development risks emphasizes that climate change is not necessarily the only or even main causal factor for increased conflict and insecurity in specific cases. Rather, the interlinkages between climate-related changes (both in terms of long-term changes in temperature and precipitation, and shorter-term climate events like droughts and floods) and peace, security and developments risks are indirectly and complexly related to how people adapt to these climatic changes, and is influences by their exposure, vulnerabilities and resilience.

Depending on the interplay between these factors, climate-related changes, together with other factors, could lead to the displacement of people (e.g. temporary displacement or longer-term migration to urban areas or other countries due to reduced livelihood prospects), changes in mobility patters (e.g. transhumance routes) or even conflict (e.g. when communities compete for scarce resources). Climate change can thus be seen as a systemic disruption that adds additional stress and compounds risks that are inherent in social-ecological systems – especially in fragile and conflict-affected societies.

Moreover, when it comes to existing conflict situations, climate-related effects might contribute to prolonging violent conflict, inhibit peacebuilding, further stress weak governance systems, undermine community resilience and increase the human costs of war.

The following institutions came together to establish the network:

Denmark:

  • Danish Institute of International Affairs (DIIS)

Estonia:

  • Estonian Foreign Policy Institute (EFPI)

Finland:

  • Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)
  • CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation (CMI)

Iceland:

  • Institute of International Affairs (IIA), University of Iceland
  • Institute for Sustainability Studies, University of Iceland

Latvia: 

  • Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA)

Lithuania:

  • Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University (TSPMI)

Norway:

  • Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

Sweden:

  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Want to learn more? Have a look at the Climate-related Peace and Security Risks project website.

Projects