The independent resource on global security

Climate change and risk

San Rafael Glacier in Patagonia, Chile
The San Rafael Glacier in Patagonia, Chile. Photo: ribeiroantonio

The effects of climate change are already happening and, even if action is taken to reduce global warming, they will continue to grow for decades. Their impact on security is increasingly being recognized in diverse policy communities, with the World Economic Forum naming in 2016 the 'failure to adapt and mitigate climate change' as 'the most impactful risk for the years to come.'

Some effects of climate change clearly pose immediate risk to human life, both from drought and flooding. Other effects appear more gradually, but already have a considerable impact on people's security, such as food and water insecurity, health, declining tourism industry and being forced to move as localities become uninhabitable. Some effects of climate change also have geopolitical implications as territorial boundaries change and resource scarcities affect the causes and dynamics of violent conflicts. SIPRI’s work on climate change and risk emerges from a comprehensive understanding of security encompassing both human and state security risks posed by climate change.

RESEARCH INITIATIVES

Flooding in Bangkok, September 2011

This project seeks to refine the current understanding of how to adequately address the climate change and security nexus in different societal contexts.

Mongolian herders combat consequences of climate change by using animal feed that is more resilient towards extreme weather changes.

This initiative aims to help organizations to better secure peace and cooperation in times of global environmental change, including climate change.

Anti-desertification sand fences south of the town of Erfoud, Morocco

This project examines how society needs to be reformed to address increasing resource scarcity while securing positive development in the 21st century.

Research staff

Dr Malin Mobjörk is a Senior Researcher and Head of SIPRI's Climate Change and Risk Project.
Dr Florian Krampe is a Researcher in the Climate Change and Risk Project.
Dr Amiera Sawas is a Researcher in the Climate Change and Risk Project.
Jiayi Zhou is a Researcher in the Climate Change and Risk Project.
Roberta Scassa is an intern in SIPRI's Climate Change and Risk Project.