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Climate change and security
Challenges for German Development Cooperation
The German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) commissioned Adelphi Consult to assess the impacts of climate change on conflict and security from a development policy perspective and to formulate proposals for ways to further address this issue area in German development cooperation. Climate change will lead to resource scarcity and environmental degradation over the long term. This can heighten existing social and political tensions or can lead to new ones. State institutions already overstretched will come under additional pressure, and will find it increasingly difficult to perform elementary state tasks. Combined with growing environmental stress, this will impact the adaptive capacity of societies adversely and will thus also limit their capacity to engage in peaceful conflict resolution. This means that an increasing use of violence to resolve conflicts could already be expected, as well as escalating security risks in the affected societies and in neighbouring regions. This is amplified further by an array of other global trends, notably rising levels of resource consumption due to economic development, population growth and urbanisation, which will make the adverse effects of climate change all the more manifest. It is in this setting that the present report outlines an array of possible approaches and recommendations for German development policy. As the impacts of climate change are long-term in nature, it is essential to set developments on track within the coming five to ten years. To be effective, adaptation strategies need long-term planning and realignment. Moreover, rapid economic growth, mounting resource consumption and the associated capital investments will crucially determine the global emissions path over the next decades. It is therefore essential to link the climate protection dialogue systematically with questions of energy security.