Multilateral cooperation in the area of climate-related security and development risks in Africa

Written by

Florian Krampe

Senior Researcher, SIPRI


Over the past decade the impact of climate change on people’s everyday lives have become tangible. Its effects have contributed to loss of human life, it has undermined livelihoods, destroyed infrastructure, harmed national economies and stressed state budgets. Across the globe, its impacts have contributed to widened gender inequalities in different contexts. Climate change is also transforming and redefining the global security and development landscape. The implications of climate change for security and development has become increasingly recognized within the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities (REC). The framing of climate change in the security and development discourse is undergoing an important change. In some spaces it is moving away from seeing climate change as a security ‘threat,’ and instead frames it as climate-related security and development ‘risks’. This approach, which is also the approach we take in this paper, emphasizes that climate change must not be seen as predominantly external in its cause, but rather that it exposes and compounds risks that are inherent in social-ecological systems, – especially in fragile and conflict-affected environments.