For the first time in its history, the Global Peace Index report by the Institute for Economics and Peace added a section on climate change, with results showing a dark future for those in regions of unrest.
The 2019 Index, which was released this month, ranks 163 countries and territories peacefulness on a scale from one to five, with one being the most peaceful and five being the least. The results laid out just how bad climate change will be for those who live in regions with considerable unrest, due to their inability to cope with natural disasters.
⚡️ “2019 Global Peace Index released”https://t.co/z2osiSftD8
— Global Peace Index (@GlobPeaceIndex) June 14, 2019
Today, globally there are more refugees than at any other point in modern history and as climate change progresses the report suggests that these numbers will continue to soar.
“By 2050, climate change is estimated to create up to 86 million additional migrants in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 million in South Asia and 17 million in Latin America as agricultural conditions and water availability deteriorate across these regions,” stated the report.
Countries which are considered relatively peaceful will have an easier time dealing with natural disasters as they are better equipped to respond to emergencies.
🌊In 2017, 18.8 million people were estimated to be displaced due to natural disasters globally
— Global Peace Index (@GlobPeaceIndex) June 20, 2019
“Countries with high levels of Positive Peace have stronger institutions, via well-functioning governments, sound business environments, equitable distribution of resources, high levels of human capital and good relations with neighbors, which all influence their ability to respond to stresses induced by climate,” stated the report.
While countries that are ranked at the bottom of the Peace Index will struggle to adapt to climate change and extreme weather due to weaker institutions. This results in a large disparity between countries death tolls during a disaster. For every one person who dies during a natural disaster in a country that is ranked as peaceful, 13 die in a country suffering unrest.
However, it is hard to draw accurate conclusions when it comes to climate and conflict because each case is unique and it’s also difficult to get reliable cross country climate data sets. Yet, the report has shown that environmental factors, such as water scarcity, add a stressor to society and when combined with weaker institutions could lead to more violence and unrest.
Most peaceful countries in the world, 2019.
2. New Zealand
10. Czech Republic
(Global Peace Index)
Longer list: https://t.co/UbCTJhZrJ8
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) June 15, 2019
Speaking to The Globe Post, Laurie Smolenski, the outreach and development officer at the Institute for Economics and Peace, said that although a country’s environmental climate is not a factor when calculating their Peace Index it is important to look at the correlation between peace and climate.
“In recognizing the important relationship between climate change and peace and the ways in which climate change and extreme weather are exacerbating social tensions and migration patterns and resources, we felt like it was a really important section to include this year,” she said.