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The Intersection of Global Conflicts and Climate Change

Human-induced climate change poses a significant threat to our wellbeing and the health of our planet. Despite efforts to reduce risks, dangerous disruptions are occurring in nature, affecting billions of people worldwide. 


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that even temporarily exceeding a global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F) will result in severe impacts, some of which may be irreversible1. These impacts include extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and disruptions to ecosystems.


Simultaneously, global conflicts persist, threatening peace and stability. While the absolute number of war deaths has declined since the founding of the United Nations, experts fear that climate change could reverse this progress. Climate-related risks can exacerbate existing conflicts, obstruct access to essential resources like water and food, and drive instability, displacement, and violence.


Climate change acts as a risk multiplier, amplifying existing vulnerabilities. Vulnerable countries, often politically and economically fragile, face the brunt of climate-related risks. These risks intersect with conflict zones, where people already struggle with poverty and insecurity. Climate change obstructs access to necessities like water, food, health, and housing, disproportionately affecting those with fewer resources to cope.


Climate change disrupts livelihoods, impacting household and community-level vulnerabilities. Extreme weather events force state institutions to redirect attention and resources. For instance, Somalia has experienced increasing dust storms and droughts, affecting herders, farmers, and entire communities. The unpredictability of seasons strains social structures and economic equality.


To mitigate these threats, we must take urgent action. Ambitious and accelerated adaptation measures are crucial. We need to build resilience, especially among vulnerable populations, and manage the cascading impacts of extreme weather events.


Simultaneously, we must make rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving net-zero global emissions is essential to stabilize the climate. Strengthening ecosystems is key to securing a liveable future. We must protect biodiversity, restore ecosystems, and transition to sustainable practices. By doing so, we can mitigate climate risks and enhance our ability to adapt.


The path forward requires collective action, trust, and truth. We must recognize our responsibility and work towards a world where global conflicts are resolved, and climate change is mitigated. Only then can we truly safeguard humanity and our planet.


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