1. Avoiding “Backdraft” in Climate Response
Countries around the world are ramping up their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This effort to transition to a renewable energy economy and protect communities on the frontlines of climate change is critical. There is, however, a risk that well-intentioned efforts could have a “backdraft” effect, leading to unintended consequences. If designed or implemented without consideration for conflict potential, unforeseen negative spillover might damage economic development, undermine political stability, or fray the social fabric of communities. How can policymakers anticipate and minimize these risks? More ambitiously, how can mitigation and adaptation efforts be designed to avoid conflict and help build peace? We must guide research and analysis on the potential “backdraft” effects of climate responses to inform efforts that, minimally, do no harm, and potentially yield multiple benefits.