Climate change increasingly threatens the stability of states and societies. In the context of global security, it is best understood as a ‘threat multiplier’ that interacts with and compounds existing risks and pressures. When climate change converges and interacts with other environmental, economic, social, and political shocks and pressures, it can increase the likelihood of instability or conflict. This threat is particularly virulent in fragile and conflict-affected situations where governments and societal institutions already struggle to achieve security and equitable development.
At the same time, conflicts and fragility often contribute to environmental degradation and undermine the ability to adapt to climate change, thus creating a vicious circle of increasing vulnerability and fragility. The complex and systemic risks that arise out of the interaction between climate change and other environmental, economic, social, and political pressures are what this profile calls climate-fragility risks.