Climate Change and Emergence of Violent Conflicts


  • Quratull ain Abbas Lecturer, Government and Public Policy Department, National Defense University Islamabad, Pakistan Phd Scholar, Political Science Department, Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan
  • Ahsan Riaz Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan



Threat Multiplier, Temperature, Climate, States, Conflict


Climate change, also called global warming, refers to the rise in the average surface temperature on Earth. Over the past century, earth's average temperature has risen by 1.5°F, and is projected to rise 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years.  These changes in the average temperature of the earth may lead to potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather. Increased rainfall, decreased precipitation, augmented temperature, frequent heat waves, droughts and floods have likely to pose challenges for economic, social and geo-political security of states. Present study is an effort to understand the impacts produced by changing climate in social, economic and political spheres and its link with the emergence of violent conflicts. It further aims to investigate the relationship between National Security and Conflict however the main focus will be the domestic societies of under-developing countries. In order to address the objectives of this study, descriptive research approach has been applied. The validity of concept has been tested by qualitative analysis of the climatic variations on economic, social and geo-political spheres. The study finds out that climate change and economic stability are inextricably linked. The data of this study also suggested   that the impacts of climate change are expected to act as a ''Threat Multiplier '' as a whole and can be more disastrous for the unstable regions thus resulting in shortage of food, water and other resources. It is thus concluded that scenario may lead to increased risks of conflicts among nations for control over the natural resources though   climate change is unlikely to be a primary cause of conflict however it will remain an important factor in the emergence of conflict and it may also amplify the existing conflicts due to scarcity of resources.


Addison, T. (2012). Human security report 2009/2010: The causes of peace and the shrinking costs of war.

Boon, K., Lovelace, D., & Huq, A. (2012). Terrorism: Commentary on Security Documents Index IV (Vol. 101). Oxford University Press, USA.

El-Hinnawi, E. (2011). The intergovernmental panel on climate change and developing countries. The Environmentalist, 31(3), 197-199.

Femia, F., & Werrell, C. (2012). Syria: Climate change, drought and social unrest. The Center for Climate and Security, 29.

Gleditsch, N. P. (2011, January). Regional conflict and climate change. In Workshop on Research on Climate Change Impacts and Associated Economic Damages.

Hendrix, C. S., & Glaser, S. M. (2007). Trends and triggers: Climate, climate change and civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. Political geography, 26(6), 695-715.

Hobday, A. J., & Matear, R. J. (2020). The impact of climate change on oceans: physical, chemical and biological responses. In Research Handbook on Climate Change, Oceans and Coasts. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Hobday, A. J., & Matear, R. J. (2020). The impact of climate change on oceans: physical, chemical and biological responses. In Research Handbook on Climate Change, Oceans and Coasts. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Hsiang, S. M., Burke, M., & Miguel, E. (2013). Quantifying the influence of climate on human conflict. Science, 341(6151), 1235367.

Lapper, R. (2006). Living with Hugo: US Policy Toward Hugo Chávez's Venezuela (No. 20). Council on Foreign Relations Press.

Schneider, G., Gleditsch, N. P., & Carey, S. C. (2010). Exploring the past, anticipating the future: A symposium. International Studies Review, 12(1), 1-7.

Sekerci, Y., & Petrovskii, S. (2015). Mathematical modelling of spatiotemporal dynamics of oxygen in a plankton system. Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, 10(2), 96-114.

Suhrke, A. (1997). Environmental degradation, migration, and the potential for violent conflict. In Conflict and the Environment (pp. 255-272). Springer, Dordrecht.

Theisen, O. M., Holtermann, H., & Buhaug, H. (2010). Drought, political exclusion, and civil war. Int Secur, 36, 79-106.

US department of Defense , Quadrennial Defense Review Pentagon 2010.

Zhang, D. D., Jim, C. Y., Lin, G. C., He, Y. Q., Wang, J. J., & Lee, H. F. (2006). Climatic change, wars and dynastic cycles in China over the last millennium. Climatic Change, 76(3-4), 459-477.




How to Cite

Abbas, Q. ain ., & Riaz , A. . (2021). Climate Change and Emergence of Violent Conflicts . Review of Economics and Development Studies, 7(2), 277-286.