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Climate Change and Global Peace

 Peace is not just the absence of war it is the ability for our livelihood to be sustained. Invariably, a livelihood undermined means a threat global peace.


Climate change and global peace

By Oladosu Adenike

Climate change is an insecurity multiplier that threatens peace. It was stated for the first time by the report on Global Peace Index in 2007 that Climate change threats national security.Climate change was among the listed factors on peace issue in it 2019 report with the conclusion that climate change and resource availability tend to exacerbate tensions among affected population. If we don’t act on climate change crisis, it could exacerbate more crises now or in the nearest future. Climate change never started as a peace and security issues but it is now trending towards that path. Countries ranked among the least peaceful countries [Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq,South Sudan and Yemen] are hotspots region to climate induced factors. In fact, 7 out of 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change already host United Nations Peacekeeping mission. Peacekeeping in itself needs a climate action agenda. Peacekeeping should not be defined by military action!

However, climate change intensifies hardship. Climate change also remains one of the disruptions to global peace. It disrupts livelihoods, increase food insecurity and poverty that directly affect human rights and needs which definitely lead to insecurity. These disruptions are defined by the level of exposure and adaptive capacity. The fact remains that, the region that are highly exposed to climate change are the least region that has the lowest adaptive capacity as in the case of Africa. This is why the impact of climate change will be greater in Africa. The less we act on the climate crisis, the higher it complexities. How do we have peace in a region where more than 33 million people are displaced from their livelihoods? Or how do we have peace when floods and drought are taking over our landscapes for agriculture? Anything that threatens our peace will definitely threaten our security and other global affairs.

Hence, the restoration of Lake Chad and the actualisation of the Great Green Wall is a peace initiative that can help stabilize the region – part of the reasons why we advocate for it. It takes climate change to decimate the livelihood of people in this region and it will take climate action to revive the livelihood of people in this region. The lost of livelihood has become a potential driver to a less peaceful world. We are seeing how climate change related crises is driving violence of different kinds. We have also witnessed the migration (the push and pull effects of climate change) of people from depleted resource region to a “safe resource” zone further exerting pressure to the resources leading to social, economic and cultural tension. According to the report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);"the greatest single impact of climate could be on human migration". Mainly arising from climate processes and events.Whatever we do in this decade will determine the future of humanity as a whole. Any action we take now might either lead us to an irreversible crisis or become solution. That is why every action counts and every day matters.

Adenike Oladosu is a climate justice activist and peace advocate from Nigeria.

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