Compounding Risks: Climate change is intensifying fragility
Climate change and environmental degradation contribute to rapid onset and slow-onset disasters that threaten human security, built infrastructure and livelihoods; disrupt social activity and economic cycles; and require significant economic resources for recovery and adaptation.
Fragile and conflict-affected contexts should be the focus of efforts to address climate change and deal with its impact. Climate change compounds risks across the dimensions of fragility, which can overburden states and increase regional tensions, spurring social upheaval and violent conflict. Beyond climate change, environmental fragility is acute in resource-rich countries, many of which are fragile: 3 out of 4 people in fragile contexts are also living in commodity-dependent contexts.
Climate change is a risk multiplier – it will intensify fragility in some of the most fragile contexts, further deteriorating prospects for sustainable development and peace. The climate crisis is closely linked to ecosystem degradation, environmental pollution and biodiversity loss, which places additional demands on fragile contexts that are already struggling to cope, affecting the poorest and most vulnerable disproportionately. Climate change and conflict overlap significantly, creating compound risks on populations living in fragile contexts.
60% of people in fragile contexts are highly exposed to climate change, and 37% of people in fragile contexts are both highly- exposed to climate change and living in conflict zones. 6 of the 10 largest peace operations were in those fragile contexts most affected by climate change.