Climate change will have serious impacts on fragile states. To effectively address the potential for instability, the climate community must communicate and collaborate with the development and peacebuilding communities.
In an interview
recorded in Washington, Dan Smith
of International Alert
makes the case for extending this dialogue: “This is not just an environmental issue, not just a development issue, it’s not just a peace and conflict issue, if we don’t understand the connectivity and the interactions between all of these categories, we’re going to get it wrong.”
Smith enumerates the shortcoming of failing to account for the special circumstances of states in conflict or emerging from conflict by “Adaptation and peacebulding are very, very closely related. A society which can adapt against the threat of climate change is a society that can you imagine can handle conflict and peace issues quite well and quite constructively…and vice versa,” he tells ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko.
With the Copenhagen negotiations set for December, the climate community is negotiating over significant funds for adaption in the realm of development. Yet the climate and development communities have too few overlaps in terms of people and understandings.
At a Woodrow Wilson Center event, Smith and colleague Shruti Mehrotra provided an update on the climate-conflict arguments and called for better trilateral dialogue among these three communities, drawing on the November 2007 co-authored report A Climate of Conflict.