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Title: Forecasting civil conflict along the shared socioeconomic pathways

Abstract

Climate change and armed civil conflict are both linked to socioeconomic development, although conditions that facilitate peace may not necessarily facilitate mitigation and adaptation to climate change. While economic growth lowers the risk of conflict, it is generally associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and costs of climate mitigation policies. Here, this study investigates the links between growth, climate change, and conflict by simulating future civil conflict using new scenario data for five alternative socioeconomic pathways with different mitigation and adaptation assumptions, known as the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs). We develop a statistical model of the historical effect of key socioeconomic variables on country-specific conflict incidence, 1960–2013. We then forecast the annual incidence of conflict, 2014–2100, along the five SSPs. We find that SSPs with high investments in broad societal development are associated with the largest reduction in conflict risk. This is most pronounced for the least developed countries—poverty alleviation and human capital investments in poor countries are much more effective instruments to attain global peace and stability than further improvements to wealthier economies. Moreover, the SSP that describes a sustainability pathway, which poses the lowest climate change challenges, is as conducive to global peace as the conventional development pathway.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [3];  [5]
  1. Uppsala Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research; Peace Research Inst. Oslo (PRIO), Oslo (Norway)
  2. Peace Research Inst. Oslo (PRIO), Oslo (Norway); Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway). Dept. of Sociology and Political Science
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
  4. Peace Research Inst. Oslo (PRIO), Oslo (Norway); Univ. of Oslo (Norway). Dept. of Political Science
  5. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). School of Public Policy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; US Army Research Office (ARO)
OSTI Identifier:
1406811
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-119081
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326; WN9030198; TRN: US1702912
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; armed conflict; shared socioeconomic pathways; forecasting; climate change mitigation and adaptation

Citation Formats

Hegre, Håvard, Buhaug, Halvard, Calvin, Katherine V., Nordkvelle, Jonas, Waldhoff, Stephanie T., and Gilmore, Elisabeth. Forecasting civil conflict along the shared socioeconomic pathways. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054002.
Hegre, Håvard, Buhaug, Halvard, Calvin, Katherine V., Nordkvelle, Jonas, Waldhoff, Stephanie T., & Gilmore, Elisabeth. Forecasting civil conflict along the shared socioeconomic pathways. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054002.
Hegre, Håvard, Buhaug, Halvard, Calvin, Katherine V., Nordkvelle, Jonas, Waldhoff, Stephanie T., and Gilmore, Elisabeth. Mon . "Forecasting civil conflict along the shared socioeconomic pathways". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054002. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1406811.
@article{osti_1406811,
title = {Forecasting civil conflict along the shared socioeconomic pathways},
author = {Hegre, Håvard and Buhaug, Halvard and Calvin, Katherine V. and Nordkvelle, Jonas and Waldhoff, Stephanie T. and Gilmore, Elisabeth},
abstractNote = {Climate change and armed civil conflict are both linked to socioeconomic development, although conditions that facilitate peace may not necessarily facilitate mitigation and adaptation to climate change. While economic growth lowers the risk of conflict, it is generally associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and costs of climate mitigation policies. Here, this study investigates the links between growth, climate change, and conflict by simulating future civil conflict using new scenario data for five alternative socioeconomic pathways with different mitigation and adaptation assumptions, known as the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs). We develop a statistical model of the historical effect of key socioeconomic variables on country-specific conflict incidence, 1960–2013. We then forecast the annual incidence of conflict, 2014–2100, along the five SSPs. We find that SSPs with high investments in broad societal development are associated with the largest reduction in conflict risk. This is most pronounced for the least developed countries—poverty alleviation and human capital investments in poor countries are much more effective instruments to attain global peace and stability than further improvements to wealthier economies. Moreover, the SSP that describes a sustainability pathway, which poses the lowest climate change challenges, is as conducive to global peace as the conventional development pathway.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054002},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 5,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {4}
}

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