n African Security Review - Climate change : a new threat to stability in West Africa? Evidence from Ghana and Burkina Faso : feature

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Traditionally seen as an environmental and an energy issue, climate change is now being recast as a threat to international peace and security. Africa, though the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, is seen as the continent most likely to suffer its worst consequences - a function of the continent's reliance on climate-dependent sectors (such as rain-fed agriculture) and its history of resource, ethnic and political conflict.

The security implications of climate change have become the subject of unprecedented international attention, and in 2007 climate change was the focus of both a Security Council debate and the Nobel Peace Prize. There have been some attempts to construct scenarios of the ways in which warming temperatures might undermine security on a global scale. But the security impacts of climate change at the level of countries have been lost in the political rhetoric.
This paper is an effort to address this research gap. Drawing on field visits and consultations with local experts, the authors explore the extent to which climate change could undermine stability in two different West African countries, namely Ghana and Burkina Faso.


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