Climate Change Leading to War

In light of the attacks on Paris on November 13th, 2015, the nations of the world were marked to come together in Le Bourget, Paris only a few weeks later to discuss the conference objective of a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change. On December 5th, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had come to their final agreements on how to implement laws and policies to hold the global average short of a 2 degree Celsius increase, unfortunately many nations see climate change as a risk of aggravating conflicts between nations.

Climate change itself is not the issue however, it just multiplies the threat. A change in the climate exacerbates poverty and water scarcity, it compounds food and nutrition insecurity and it makes it even harder for poor households to secure their rights. As we’ve learned in class, grievances are one of the main reasons as to why people are up in arms against their respective country. Poverty, repression, discrimination, and exclusion are all factors that play into whether or not a country enters a civil war.

With climate change adding onto the stresses of life that these countries already endure, radicalization is much more likely. For example, the recurrent drought in Syria that began in 2010 has been awarded the key aggravating factor that led to the civil war that has destroyed the country from within. The drought, which broke record levels, was brought on by global warming and pushed social unrest to a breaking point causing the uprising in 2011 which has led to a major civil war with international involvement.



5 thoughts on “Climate Change Leading to War

  1. Interesting post. I had not thought to put climate change in a perspective where it led to internal conflicts within a nation prior to this. I agree that the negative effects seen from global warming across the world would lead to further conflict and strains both within states themselves, as well as internationally. As resources such as fresh water become scarce in areas heavily effected by drought, nations may see no other choice but to negotiate a compromise on the relegation of water, or to compete over scarce resources, an issue that has increased in its seriousness over time. This can already be seen in Turkey and its neighbors, with conflicts arising over fresh water resources in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins. Here is a link to an article you might find interesting!


  2. I liked this post, but I do not see how climate change exacerbates the terror situation at all. There has been violence and terror springing from the middle for hundreds of years, long before the industrial revolution. The idea that climate change causes people to kill hundreds of people is horribly misleading in my opinion


  3. Good Post!
    Though I don’t see an exact one to one correlation between climate change and the act of neighboring countries going to war (which is sort of a tradition in the middle east). I do believe however this will cause a war of attrition in some instances, where either side of the issue can play climate change to their benefit, weather it be taking vital resources or starving their enemy of them. Though this may seem cruel, Im sure it has been used as a strategy, putting the rules of war into further question if the sabotage of water or food to a population is humane or not.


  4. Thank you for your blog post.
    I believe you tried to come up with the relation between climate change and countries conflicts that occurs due to climate change. However, I think your post should contain more information of how climate change affected Middle East countries. Also, I understand what is your point in the post, but I believe stress due to hot weather is the major cause of war in the Middle East. I think mentioning small islands in the Pacific Ocean that are sinking now due to climate change and mentioning the industrializing or industrialized countries interests.


  5. I definitely agree with the notion that climate change can lead to aggravated conflicts and war. On top of a nation already having internal problems of its own, whether it be political or whatever it may be, the problem of climate change can severely affect a country by limiting its resources and causing chaos due to environmental changes.


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