Strauss Center News

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


The Double Burden of Climate Exposure and State Fragility

Oct 19, 2018 |

In the article, The Double Burden of Climate Exposure and State Fragility, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar Joshua Busby, Strauss Director of the State Fragility Initiative Ashley Moran, and Strauss Senior Fellow Clionadh Raleigh present the findings of “The Intersection of Global Fragility and Climate Risks” study they conducted with other researchers for USAID. As the title suggests, the study maps and identifies countries that “face the double burden of high climate exposure and state fragility.” The study was initiated to support U.S. and international policymakers and practitioners with “an interest in climate and security to identify places of high concern.”

After expressing the intentions of the study, the remainder of the article revolves around some of the key findings. The majority of countries with that are both highly fragile and have large populations facing high climate risks are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. The fragile states with large populations facing very high climate risks are mainly in South and Southeast Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa. Further, many low-lying island countries have very large shares of their populations in very high exposure areas. The United States has the 6th largest number of people globally living in very high exposure areas.

The final part of the article highlights other resources that are available from the study. These include country briefs that highlight how compound fragility-climate risks unfold in different contexts and reveal where there may be opportunities and focal points for intervention.

The study team included the authors as well as Todd Smith, Roudabeh Kishi, Nisha Krishnan, and Charles Wight. The study’s reports, data, and maps are available here.