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Conflict, Climate and Conservation

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When it comes to addressing conflict and the planetary crisis, the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action.

This new HALO Policy Paper, developed as part of the COP26 summit, explores the links between conflict, climate and conservation. And it calls for bold leadership through new economics, cultural change, strategy and policy.

The COP26 summit in Glasgow saw world leaders come together to battle the global environment crisis. They agreed plans aiming to reduce the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees, cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, adapt to save and restore ecosystems, and secure the finance to do it.

Despite disagreement, progress was made. Significantly, there is now a common understanding of the interconnected nature of climate change and biodiversity. But a key issue that is still missing is a clear understanding of how they relate to a third global emergency: conflict.

Conflict is typically associated with destruction, displacement and human suffering. And when it comes to climate change, people usually think of CO2 and melting ice caps. But the planetary emergency affects us all, and 20 per cent of the planet’s countries are in conflict. We can no longer view conflict and the planetary emergency as separate threats with separate policy responses.