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Policy Brief - Climate Security: A typology and analysis of climate-related security risks in the first round Nationally Determined Contributions

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This report shares the results of a study of the first round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with contributions from the UNFCCC secretariat. The analysis shows that climate change is recognized by many countries as a matter of national security, but also as a factor that exacerbates the drivers of different types of conflict and security risks. Conflict and insecurity are also described in the NDCs as increasing vulnerability to climate change and/or as being potentially disruptive to climate action and to the achievement of NDC targets, including in post-conflict situations.

While the challenge of achieving peace in contexts affected by climate change is stressed in some NDCs, progress to peace is also recognized as not being necessarily conducive to climate action alone. This highlights the importance of climate-proofing peacebuilding efforts. In this regard, several countries outline concrete measures to integrate climate and security considerations. This includes considering climate change impacts in peacebuilding and security strategies and also ensuring conflict sensitivity in adaptation planning.

The dual burden of addressing climate change and conflict or other security risks, including delivering on climate action in conflict-affected settings, is an emergent theme. Adaptation and mitigation (including through carbon sequestration) are recognized in NDCs as having co-benefits for peacebuilding and regarded as an important part of strategies for preventing conflict or sustaining peace in conflict-affected areas. Further examination or a comparative study of second round NDCs could afford other insights or new perspectives.