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Addressing protection risks in a climate-changed world: challenges and opportunities

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Katie Peters, Gemma Davies, Kerrie Holloway

Image credit:David Khelashvili Photography/Motion Array Image license:© Motion Array

Climate variability and change can exacerbate existing protection risks, create new protection risks, and impact drivers of conflict and fragility. As such, protection agencies need to get to grips with current and future climate changes in order to be better positioned to address these risks. Protection agencies are beginning to develop their analysis of protection risks linked to climate change risks and impacts; however, this is in early stages, is largely ad-hoc, with no agreed climate change specific analytical framework.

In this briefing note we focus primarily on the operational (including legal) approaches that offer potential to protect people in situations of forced displacement or at risk of displacement where climate change may play an exacerbating role. While there is a wealth of evidence on protection risks linked to natural hazard-related disasters, there is much less on climate change-specific risks as this is a relatively new research area. Many of the ideas included in this paper are nascent for protection agencies.