30 August 2018: The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and four Stockholm-based think thanks have launched a knowledge hub on the security implications of climate change, which will help support the management of climate-related security risks. The Stockholm Climate Security Hub aims to enhance cooperation on research and analysis on climate security, communicate the latest knowledge in the field, promote policy dialogue and provide evidence-based support to policymakers, the UN and other international organizations.

The launch took place during World Water Week, which convened from 26-31 August 2018, in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Hub’s research partners are the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University (SRC). SRC, in particular, will draw on previous and current collaborations and research on climate resilience, biosphere stewardship and development.

Climate change can lead to unemployment, resource competition, exploitation, social unrest and instability.

A SIWI press release notes that climate change and security interact through events such as droughts, floods and crop disease outbreaks, devastating harvests and leading to volatile food prices, food shortages and political upheavals with sometimes global consequences. As a threat multiplier, climate change can exacerbate poverty, displace populations, and lead to unemployment, resource competition, exploitation, social unrest and instability. An SRC news story acknowledges that, despite an increased understanding that climate change is influencing international peace and security, many still perceive a gap for addressing such risks within the UN system, which Sweden and other countries have proposed to bridge by establishing an institutional home for climate-related security risks.

Speaking about the Hub, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström stressed the need to draw more attention to the link between climate and conflict, noting that the Hub will support the UN and other multilateral actors by providing the latest knowledge to contribute to more effective and evidence-based decision making.

The Hub is a result of Sweden’s ongoing efforts to prioritize climate security on the international agenda, and follows the UN Security Council’s debate on climate change and security, which took place under the Swedish presidency in July 2018, the first such debate in seven years. [SIWI Press Release] [Stockholm Resilience Centre News Story] [Government of Sweden Press Release] [SEI Press Release]