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Climate Crisis Will Worsen Conflicts, Especially in Africa

Climate Crisis Will Worsen Conflicts, Especially in Africa

At least 1.8 billion people live in countries seriously threatened by the climate crisis, a number that will rise to 2.8 billion by 2050 and that will “increase conflicts”, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report.

The Ecological Threats Report-2023 by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), released today, analyses the relationship between the effects of climate change and uncontrolled population growth, food insecurity and its relationship with the outbreak of conflicts.

“The climate crisis and violence are strongly linked,” said Serge Stroobants, IEP director for Europe and the Middle East, who is responsible for the report, warning that the current escalation of global war “will create greater global insecurity”.

Of the 221 countries analysed in the study, 66 face at least one serious ecological threat, distributed unevenly around the world, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

The four countries most at risk of a climate crisis are Ethiopia, Niger, Somalia and South Sudan.

“Climate change is generating conflicts in places like the Horn of Africa,” said Nazanine Moshiri, Climate and Conflict Analyst at the International Crisis Group, who said that “competition for natural resources causes disputes” and “leads young people to leave their jobs and join militias”.

The inability of many countries to cope with natural disasters has led to an increase in the need for disaster relief funding, with the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) set to allocate 35 per cent of its budget to disaster relief in 2022, up from 17 per cent a decade ago.

The report also warns of increasing population pressure, with rapid population growth jeopardising access to basic resources and resilience to natural disasters, especially in areas that are already at risk and have low levels of peace.

“More than 40 per cent of the world’s land area is expected to experience population growth of more than 20 per cent by 2050, half of which will be in countries with very low levels of peace,” the report warns.

“Without concerted international action, current levels of ecological degradation will worsen substantially, intensifying social problems such as malnutrition and forced migration,” said Stroobants.



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