Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

By
Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Lauren Herzer, Schuyler Null, Meaghan Parker, and Russell Sticklor

Amid the growing number of reports warning that climate change threatens security, one potentially dangerous – but counterintuitive – dimension has been largely ignored. Could efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and lower our vulnerability to climate change inadvertently exacerbate existing conflicts? How do we ensure mitigation and adaptation strategies do not create new conflicts? How can policymakers anticipate and minimize these potential risks? More ambitiously, can these efforts actually help build peace?

Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation – the latest edition of the ECSP Report – gathers leading environmental security experts to analyze these underexplored aspects of responding to climate change. Could a transition to the “green economy” create conflicts over newly strategic minerals? Could mitigation initiatives such as REDD+ trigger disputes over land rights, carbon ownership, and financial benefits? How can policymakers ensure that geoengineering technology or adaptation measures do not trigger unintended impacts? How can we more accurately forecast future climate security flashpoints?

Experts & Staff

  • Roger-Mark De Souza // Director of Population, Environmental Security and Resilience, Wilson Center
  • Sandeep Bathala // Senior Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
  • Katharine Diamond // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Benjamin Dills // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Lauren Herzer // Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • John Thon Majok // Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Schuyler Null // Web Editor and Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
  • Meaghan Parker // Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Sean Peoples // Multimedia Producer and Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Geoffrey D. Dabelko // Senior Advisor, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Ruth Greenspan Bell // Public Policy Scholar
  • William Krist // Senior Policy Scholar
  • Louise Lief // Public Policy Scholar
  • John W. Sewell // Senior Scholar