Strauss Center News

Updates from the Strauss Center and our affiliated distinguished scholars and fellows


State Fragility Initiative Director Discusses Climate Risks for Fragile States

Apr 2, 2019 |

At a USAID Adaptation Community Meeting on The Intersection of Global Fragility and Climate Risks, Ashley Moran, the State Fragility Initiative Director at the Strauss Center, discussed how extreme weather and other climate risks pose a multi-faceted and urgent security risk for fragile states.

She discussed five ways compound risk assessment can support policy planning to mitigate these risks. The first is identifying focal points for intervention because states with both fragility and climate risks are more vulnerable to humanitarian crises and instability. Second, she suggests that building up capacity in moderately fragile states with high climate risks can help prevent compound risks from emerging in new states. Third, she notes that compound risk assessment can support policy coordination across agencies and issues. Out of the twenty-six states with the highest compound fragility and climate risks, the UN has peacekeeping operations in 20 and the United States has troops deployed in 22, underscoring the range of peacebuilding, development, and humanitarian responses underway in states with high compound risks.

Fourth, she notes that assessing fragility and climate risks together highlights where climate vulnerability can be compounded by fragility and where resilience initiatives can reduce both climate and fragility challenges simultaneously. Lastly, she discusses how assessing compound risks helps identify the best channels for climate actions in fragile states. This includes developing climate policies that won’t be undermined by state weakness, but also playing to its strengths.