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Conflict

Climate Conflicts: Myth or Reality?

Image courtesy of Marisol Grandon/Department for International Development/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by IPI Global Observatory on 5 March 2018.

The specter of water wars has long loomed large in political and popular imaginations. With the end of the Cold War, fresh concerns emerged that future wars would be fought not over ideology but over natural resources. The alliteratively appealing phrase of “water wars” began rolling off the tongue as United Nations leaders and politicians made bold claims about the inevitable carnage that resource scarcity would bring. Climate change heightens these concerns as the gap widens between what science tells us is necessary and what politics tells us is feasible.