Making climate finance fit for a world in conflict

Recommendations for governments, multilateral development banks and financial institutions

The countries that are hardest hit by climate emergencies are also those worst affected by conflict.

Tensions over access to land, water or other natural resources are exacerbated by the impact of climate change. Ten of the 12 countries experiencing the highest ecological threats are in conflict. They stand little chance of adapting to climate pressures, or protecting resources vital to our planet, without an end to violence.

In 2022, for the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognised that climate change can contribute to conflict along indirect pathways, also noting that adaptation can contribute to reducing volatility in climate aftershocks by “reducing impacts of climate change on climate sensitive drivers of conflict”.

At COP28, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held the first thematic day on peace. This was an opportunity to call for conflict-sensitive climate finance to reach those who need it most in conflict-affected settings. While these were positive steps in the right direction, a lot remains to be done to address the link between climate and conflict.

International Alert calls for the increase of conflict-sensitive and inclusive climate finance and for the implementation of climate finance in conflict-affected settings through the following recommendations:

Increase understanding of risk.

Simplify accreditation process to access funding.

Enhance capacity of conflict-affected countries.

Increase flexibility, predictability and time span of finance.

Implement a fast-track financing window.

Include mandatory conflict analysis.

Collaborate across sectors.

Devolve decision-making to a local level.