Climate Change: Socio-Economic impacts and violent conflict

Klimaatverandering: sociaal-economische invloed en gewelddadige conflicten


This report contains a literature study on the socio economic impacts of climate change and the possibilities of violent conflicts enhanced by the greenhouse effect. The socio economic impacts are classified according to the economic sectors in chapter 2 of the study. The impacts on property, ecosystems and human well being are the topic of chapter 3. Chapter 4 deals with climate change and environmental security, and discusses the most important concepts of security and their relation to climate change. Chapter 5 deals with already existing and potential conflicts, that may be enhanced by the greenhouse effect as a result of resource scarcity, particularly related to availability of food and water. On the basis of the literature study and an analysis of research gaps propositions are made on new areas of research to be undertaken. The study emphasizes the need to further study the impact on agriculture in semi-arid zones, the impact on water availability in sensitive regions, a further analysis of the consequences of sea level rise particularly in sensitive areas and with regard to forced migration. Also further studies a required into the socio economic impacts of changes in human health and mortality due to climate change, in relation to diseases. Special attention should be paid to migration because of environmental degradation and flooding. Extreme weather events have already been studied, but there still is a need for further insights into how extreme weather events will affect society, taking into account adaptive behaviour. Finally, in the area of socio economic impacts, the implications of changes in ecosystems and biodiversity require further attention as these effects may be large but, at the same time, difficult to assess in economic terms.

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