The independent resource on global security

Security Risks of Environmental Crises: Environment of Peace (Part 2)

Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
December, 2022

SIPRI’s Environment of Peace initiative focuses on managing the risks that are created by two interwoven crises: the darkening security horizon and the immense pressures being placed on the natural world and the systems that support life on earth.

The Environment of Peace research report is an in-depth look at the evidence base and analysis of the policy report Environment of Peace: Security in a New Era of Risk, including many real-world case studies. The report is the result of two years’ work by more than 30 researchers, led and guided by some of the leading voices in the fields of environment and security.

Accessibly designed, the new research report is available to download in four parts: Elements of a Planetary Emergency (part 1); Security Risks of Environmental Crises (part 2); Navigating a Just and Peaceful Transition (part 3); and Enabling an Environment of Peace (part 4).

This part—Security Risks of Environmental Crises (part 2)—shows how combinations of environmental and security phenomena are generating complex risks. Through a theoretical framework informed by the literature, Cedric de Coning, Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), and his team explore different pathways from environmental stress to conflict and how the darkening security horizon and environmental crises are interacting to generate different types of risk: compound, cascading, emergent, systemic and existential. The analysis is supported by numerous case studies, spanning a variety of social-ecological systems and different types of risks. Part 2 also discusses options for responding to these complex risks.


Read a separate annex that assembles a number of in-depth case studies and other input papers that were commissioned to inform the research and analysis in part 2 here.

Read the overview to the four-part research report here.

Read Elements of a Planetary Emergency (part 1), which lays out the conceptual and evidential landscape for Environment of Peace, here.

Read Navigating a Just and Peaceful Transition (part 3), which focuses on needed transitions towards sustainability and climate resilience, here.

Read Enabling an Environment of Peace (part 4), which examines the legal and institutional landscape within which the twin crises—and humanity’s responses to them—play out, here.

Read the policy report Environment of Peace: Security in a New Era of Risk here.


Karolina Eklöw was the Coordinator of SIPRI’s Environment of Peace initiative.
Dr Farah Hegazi is a Researcher in the SIPRI Climate Change and Risk Programme.
Dr Florian Krampe is the Director of the SIPRI Climate Change and Risk Programme.
David Michel was a Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Environment of Peace 2022 initiative.
Elizabeth Smith was a Research Assistant with SIPRI’s Climate Change and Risk Programme.
Cedric de Coning is a Research Professor in the Research Group on Peace, Conflict and Development at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He co-directs the NUPI Center on United Nations and Global Governance, and the Climate, Peace and Security Risk project.
Joshua Busby <p>is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs at The University of Texas LBJ School. He is on leave in 2021-22, serving as a Senior Advisor for Climate at the US Department of Defense.</p>
Marc Lanteigne is an Associate Professor of Political Science at UIT—the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø.
Corey Pattison <p>is a Program Manager at the UN Environment Programme and former Social Development Specialist at the World Bank focusing on the intersection of climate change, fragility, conflict and violence.</p>
Caleb Ray has a dual degree Juris Doctor / Master of Global Policy Studies candidate at the University of Texas at Austin focusing on sustainable development.