Charts | Climate and conflict

February 24, 2021


Climate and conflict

February 24, 2021

Matus Samel

Senior manager, Policy and insights , Economist Impact

Matus is a manager on the Policy & Insights team at Economist Impact, based in London. He oversees the execution of projects focused on economic development, sustainable growth, and international trade. Matus has delivered programmes for a number of international clients, including the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), USAID, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC), UNICEF, Global Water Partnership (GWP), and many others. Prior to joining the EIU, Matus worked on energy policy, sustainable development, and international trade projects at UNESCAP, Chatham House and Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center. He holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he specialised in economic development, energy policy and international trade and competitiveness.

Climate change disrupts where people live, what they can eat, and how they earn a living. Limiting the warming of the planet also means limiting the number of lives affected by climate-generated fragility and conflict.




Made with Flourish
Climate change and conflict are among the leading causes of global hunger. Climate change affects food security as changing temperatures, rainfall variability, and more frequent and intense extreme weather events are straining water supplies and reducing crop yields, and causing food prices to rise and be more volatile. In 2019, up to 25.9% of the world’s population faced moderate or severe levels of food insecurity, up from 22.4% in 2014. This number is projected to increase further, particularly in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean (FAO, 2020).
The effects of climate change and conflict on food and water availability and crop yields are linked to increases in migration and displacement, as communities migrate as an “adaptation strategy”, often from rural to urban areas (IEP, 2020). Growing urban centres exacerbate the potential for conflict in fragile conditions. Sharp increases in the number of people puts pressure on public goods and services, especially in secondary cities that lack the investment and infrastructure needed to sustainably cope with a growing population (EIU Safe Cities Index, 2019). Cities are also vulnerable to climate change, with a projected 800m urban inhabitants at risk from the impacts of rising seas and storm surges by 2050 (IPCC, 2019).
Effective climate adaptation and building resilience in climate-vulnerable settings are therefore essential to conflict prevention and facilitating long-term peace and prosperity.

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