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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Climate change: a new threat to stability in West Africa? Evidence from Ghana and Burkina Faso
Authors:Brown, OliISNI
Crawford, Alec
Periodical:African Security Review
Geographic terms:Burkina Faso
Subjects:climate change
human security
political stability
economic conditions
Abstract:Traditionally seen as an environmental and an energy issue, climate change is now being recast as a threat to international peace and security. Africa, though the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, is seen as the continent most likely to suffer its worst consequences - a function of the continent's reliance on climate-dependent sectors (such as rain-fed agriculture) and its history of resource, ethnic and political conflict. Drawing on field visits and consultations with local experts, this paper explores the extent to which climate change could undermine stability in two different West African countries, namely Ghana and Burkina Faso. The main findings are: Ghana and Burkina Faso already face considerable development challenges from existing economic, population and environmental stresses; climate change is not new to West Africa; future climate change is likely to make many current development challenges more complex and urgent; there are links between climate change and security in the region; climate change could exacerbate existing, latent tensions in Ghana and Burkina Faso; only in the extreme scenarios does climate change begin to be a deterministic factor in future economic and political instability; adaptation needs to focus on the full range of development problems affecting countries. Bibliogr., note, sum. (p. VI-VII). [ASC Leiden abstract]