08.12.2023

African Climate Security Risk Assessment: Executive Summary

This executive summary of the forthcoming African Climate Security Risk Assessment summarises insights on climate change, peace, and security in Africa. The report itself was requested by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) and is the result of the collaboration between the African Union Commission for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (AUC-PAPS) and adelphi.
ACRA Cover Image
© Inga Israel

The climate crisis is one of the most serious risks to global peace and stability in the 21st century. While Africa is one of the lowest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, it is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change globally due to the intersection of different socio-economic, political, and environmental challenges. Human-induced climate change has already impacted the security of African states and societies both directly and indirectly.

Given these existing challenges, the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), together with the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) and the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), agreed to advance Africa’s climate change priorities through a Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Study on the Nexus between Climate Change, Peace, and Security on the continent and subsequently reiterated in the PSC Communiqué of the 1051st Meeting of 26 November 2021 to expedite the finalisation of a climate-related security risks assessment study. 

The African Climate Security Risk Assessment (ACRA) serves exactly these functions and analyses the interlinkages between climate, peace and security across the African continent. It provides the basis for the development of a chairperson report on the nexus between climate change, peace and security on the continent and the Common African Position on the topic. The ACRA provides an in-depth analysis of key climate security risks from a continental perspective and emerging good practices to address them. This comparative analysis is based on regional assessments for Northern Africa, Western Africa, Central Africa, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa that include the main climate security risk pathways for each region and regional responses and good practices. An additional focus is put on transregional geographies, in particular African island states, the Congo and Lake Chad Basin, transboundary waters, and the Sahel. The graphic that is attached below provides an overview of the outcomes of the different regional assessments which will be explored in the report. Lastly, the forthcoming report includes a number of recommendations on how to better address climate-related security risks across the continent.