Will climate change increase conflict?

Hard to say, but some kind of increase is likely.

A 2019 literature review found that the literature has not uncovered a general and robust link between climate change and conflict, but that there was substantial agreement that climate change contributed to conflict at least in some contexts, particularly in underdeveloped fertile regions. Likewise, a 2022 study looked at Africa from 1990 to 2016 and found that a 1°C increase in average temperature in a given area slightly more than doubled the risk of conflict there.

A 2019 scientific survey of eleven top experts, following extensive deliberation, subjectively assessed a 55% probability that climate change of 2°C would have a negligible impact on conflict risk, 30% probability that it would moderately increase conflict risk, and 15% probability that it would substantially increase conflict risk. When asked about climate change of 4°C, the experts suggested that negligible impact, moderate increase and substantial increase were each approximately equally likely scenarios. There was substantial disagreement among the experts, with individual experts subjectively estimating greater or lower risks, which the study authors factored into averages.

A report published in 2020 by the Center for Climate and Security subjectively assessed that climate change posed very high or even catastrophic risks of conflict. However, the Center for Climate and Security is a left-leaning think tank, and most contributors to the report were employees or board members of the think tank, with high-level military (as opposed to scholarly) backgrounds.

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