Adverse impacts of climate change go beyond climate concerns and affect political stability, development, government, equity, trade and the national economy, an expert says.
“The risk [of climate change] will be greatest where governance is weak,” according to Janani Vivekananda, senior advisor on climate change and security at international peacebuilding organization International Alert.
A report by International Alert estimates that some 3 billion people live in 56 conflict-torn nations, where climate change could intensify political instability.
Local systems of power and governance must be integrated into climate change adaptation strategies, according to Vivekananda.
“This must involve a deep understanding of the local context, and avoid pitting groups against each other. They must also address broader risks to resilience such as security,” Vivekananda writes in a blog published in Reuters Alertnet.
Vivekananda also criticizes the dependence on donor aid to combat climate change. He says such dependence “usurps local authorities’ roles and responsibilities and undermines the social contract between communities and local government.”