Politics COVID-19 and climate change are a perfect storm for violent conflict

01:00  07 october  2020
01:00  07 october  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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Peace, Conflict , and COVID - 19 . Security men wearing protective masks stand on a street during a twenty-four hour curfew that was instituted over concerns How will the novel coronavirus pandemic affect the risk of violent conflict and prospects for peace around the world? There is no clear, easy

10 COVID - 19 -related Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing: Risks and Policy Responses The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) notes that attacks by groups located in COVID - 19 as “the perfect storm for the spread of misinformation,”18 owing to its inherent and

The massive wildfires that have ravaged the Pacific Northwest of the United States in recent weeks are a stark reminder that climate change has not paused for the COVID-19 pandemic.

a group of people jumping in the air: COVID-19 and climate change are a perfect storm for violent conflict © Getty Images COVID-19 and climate change are a perfect storm for violent conflict

On the contrary. The global impact of COVID-19 is already combining with climate change to affect millions of the most vulnerable people in the world, including complicating evacuation efforts after natural disasters. These negative impacts continue to reinforce each other around the world, creating new drivers of violent conflict in fragile settings, a perfect storm of risk.

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How COVID - 19 might help us win the fight against climate change . A man wearing a protective mask observes the Arpoador beach during the What happens over the coming months could go one of two ways. There is a risk that as the immediate crisis wanes and its economic consequences become

Covid - 19 is a respiratory illness that can cause pneumonia and result in severe, long-lasting lung damage. People infected with the novel coronavirus are more likely to die if they live in regions with high levels of pollution, according to two different studies. These early findings resonate with pre-pandemic

Governments need to deliver a unified response based on an understanding of how the impacts of climate and COVID-19 are combining to create heightened risks of conflict.

The pandemic has affected both rich and poor countries alike, but for those already struggling with poverty, COVID-19 is creating new risks of instability. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, severe movement restrictions during the pandemic have combined with existing food insecurity that was already at record levels due to droughts, flooding and pest infestation. Similarly, in sub-Saharan Africa, the pandemic is hitting especially hard in communities that were already suffering from serious loss of livelihoods due to shifting rainfall patterns, extreme weather and desertification. In the Horn of Africa, emergency responses to address rising COVID-19 cases have shifted resources away from pesticides to maintain crops in the face of massive locust infestations.

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But experts warn that without structural change , the emissions declines caused by coronavirus could be Riishojgaard said there was a lot of media speculation about what impact the global pandemic might have on the climate , greenhouse gas Covid - 19 lockdown brings cleaner air to Paris region.

Covid - 19 vs. the environment. There has been much talk in the media about the potential climate impact of the coronavirus-related shutdown. The level of air pollution is affecting cardio-pulmonary health in general, so having less pollution at a time where this virus is around can only be a good

Climate change has also been contributing to trends of urbanization in many parts of the world. Hundreds of thousands of farmers have left agricultural land in the Sahel due to a combination of climate-driven factors and growing economic opportunities in cities, leading to a population explosion in many West African cities. In Bangladesh, roughly 400,000 people arrive in Dhaka every year, nearly 90 percent of whom cite environmental changes as the reason for their relocation. Poor, densely populated urban areas have proven to be prime breeding grounds for COVID-19.

In areas already affected by violence, one of the most important adaptation strategies is migration, with vulnerable populations fleeing dangerous areas, but this too has been complicated and heightened by COVID-19. A new forecasting software developed by the Danish Refugee Council has predicted that more than 1 million people could flee their homes across the Sahel as a result of shrinking livelihoods and increasing conflict brought on by the fallout from COVID-19 as well as climate change impacts. In the Lake Chad area, for example, hundreds of thousands of conflict-displaced people are migrating in order to receive life-saving humanitarian assistance and avoid conflict. Movement restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, however, have blocked off this escape and relief route. In Lebanon, tight curfews on Syrian refugees have limited their ability to receive health care and limit the spread of the virus. And the phenomenon of "reverse migration" - in which millions of migrants return home to avoid being stranded overseas during the pandemic - has meant new tensions over scarce resources have emerged or intensified in various contexts, from Senegal to India and Nepal.

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Climate Change . A ‘ perfect storm for controlling, violent behaviour behind closed doors’. Echoing the UN chief’s message Last month after dozens of COVID - 19 cases were confirmed in the country and the government declared a public health emergency, a 13-hour curfew was imposed by 24 March.

Many predictions of change are overstated. “Americans will never stop going to basketball games. They won’t stop going on vacation. “Fragile states will be pushed into chaos and anarchy, and there is a realistic chance that some regimes will not survive COVID - 19 as mass dissidence towards the

COVID-19 has proven an unexpected boon for rebel armed groups around the world, many of which have found ways to turn it to their advantage. Similarly, Boko Haram has used the pandemic as another rallying cry for recruitment, including in areas where climate change has contributed to a significant downturn in livelihoods. In these settings, the combination of climate-induced socioeconomic vulnerability and the negative impact of the pandemic is driving further armed group activity.

A major risk today is that national governments treat COVID-19 and the impacts of climate change separately, rather than as a set of combined risks. Shifting resources from programs supporting livelihoods to programs delivering medical care may make sense at first glance, but ignores the interrelated nature of these crises. Instead, governments need to be ready to make additional and long-term investments that focus on promoting more resilient livelihoods affected by climate change, strengthening health systems, expanding social safety nets and addressing exclusion and marginalization. Lessons from previous outbreaks such as Ebola point to the importance of broad responses that go beyond medical provision to address wider implications such as food security, livelihoods and education.

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" COVID - 19 may deliver some short-term climate benefits by curbing energy use, or even longer-term benefits if economic stimulus is linked to climate goals Instead, the issues with keeping the pandemic under control indicate that solving climate change will be virtually impossible. "The pandemic is a

Governments also need to work within and strengthen international responses, drawing on the contributions of civil society, businesses, academia and other sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic can be yet another opportunity to look at how interconnected risks, including those created by climate change, can contribute to insecurity and conflict, and to think of multi-sector and inclusive approaches to build back better. Let's not waste it.

Beatrice Mosello is a senior project manager at adelphi and one of the authors of Spreading Disease, Spreading Conflict? COVID-19, Climate Change and Security Risks. Adam Day is director of Programmes at United Nations University Centre for Policy Research and lead author of Conflict Prevention in the Era of Climate Change: Adapting the UN to Climate-Security Risks.

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