Panel Paper: Impacts of Climate Change on Youth, Peace and Security

Saturday, March 10, 2018
Burkle 12 (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jalal Awan, RAND Corporation

Youth are uniquely affected by humanitarian
crises and conflict. Indeed, many young
people live in fragile and conflict-affected
countries but are seldom called upon to
initiate solutions to development challenges.
It is only recently, through the adoption of UN
Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), that
both the importance and positive role of
young women and men in the promotion and
maintenance of international peace and
security has been recognised.
Food insecurity, water stress, forced
migration and economic recessions are some
of the impacts associated with climate
change, which has been termed a ‘threat
multiplier’. However, the ways in which
climate change uniquely impacts the security
and development prospects of youth
populations remains as of yet unstudied. An
analysis of the impact of climatic events on
youth, peace and security is critical for
understanding the underlying mechanisms
for how forced migration, conflict and
security challenges apply specifically to
young people. It is further important to help
inform young people and youth leaders on
how to solve development challenges.
The thematic paper outlined in this document
will provide answers to these questions, as
well as propose policies and programmes on
how to better engage youth on
environmental issues and support
peacebuilding. The thematic paper is
structured around one overarching research
question and three sub-questions:
What are the evidenced and potential
impacts of climate change on young
people’s opportunities for peace and
• What potential security challenges might
climate change pose to young people?
• In what ways might these challenges be
addressed through policies and
• How may youth be empowered to address
the causes and adapt to the impact of
climate change in ways that ensure the
security of themselves and their