Following on from the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Conventional on Climate Change (COP27), ACCORD convened a webinar entitled ‘Climate Change and Security in Africa: Issues and Opportunities’. The webinar, which took place on 14 December 2022, explored the outcomes of COP27, discussed how these could impact the peace and security landscape in Africa, and how African states could take advantage of these outcomes to build more peaceful and resilient societies.
ACCORD’s Senior Advisor and Chief Editor of the Conflict & Resilience Monitor, Dr Cedric de Coning, moderated the event and which featured contributions from a number of climate change and peace and security experts, including Ms Ngozi Amu, the Team Leader and Head Research and Analysis at the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director of the Women Environmental Programme, Ms Khouloud Ben Mansour Baghouri, the African Youth Ambassador for Peace for the North Africa region, and Ms Yosr Khèdr, a researcher at the University of Porto.
The discussion centred around the consequences of climate change and how this affects conflict in Africa, and the worsening state of the climate that is likely to affect future conflicts, The panellists also highlighted how the outcomes of COP27, particularly the historic decision to establish and operationalize a Loss and Damage Fund for the countries most effected by climate change, could be used by African states to mitigate environmental damage and promote peace and security. The panellists emphasised that climate change itself was not a direct cause of conflict, but merely a risk multiplier, and that good governance and sensible, evidence based strategic planning and resource management could prevent environmental catastrophes from becoming violent conflicts.
COP27 has highlighted a number of challenges that Africa will face in the coming years and decades; and provided new avenues for progress and development, especially through the Loss and Damage Fund. As the more information and research is published on the effects of climate change and the ramifications these will have for the peace and security landscape on the continent, ACCORD will also continue to contribute to evidence based analysis, policy support and knowledge to help prevent, mitigate and resolve these challenges.