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In April 2022, the U.S. State Department released a Prologue to the 2020 United States Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability, part of the Global Fragility Act of 2019. The prologue selected four countries and one region—including Papua New Guinea—as a geographic focus in developing a blueprint for promoting global peace and security.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is at a pivotal moment in its development. Opportunities to modernize are clashing with traditional tribal strictures; foreign commercial and political actors are vying for favor and resources; and global geopolitical competition is buffeting regional relationships. Exacerbating all of these challenges is climate change.
This briefer by the Center for Climate and Security focuses on key PNG security risks, and the role of climate change in shaping security outcomes in the country. It highlights both risks and opportunities, and offers policymakers targeted recommendations to prevent instability and conflict in a complex, climate-stressed environment.
About the author
Rachel Fleishman is Nonresident Senior Research Fellow for the Asia-Pacific at the Center for Climate and Security, an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks.
We have focused a lot on the impact of climate change on U.S. foreign and defense policy. We’ve also looked at how the U.S. “Pacific pivot,” or as the U.S. State Department refers to it, the “Asia-Pacific re-balancing,” presents an opportunity for the U.S. to simultaneously address it’s most critical foreign policy and national security objectives, and the impacts of climate change. This focus on U.S. policy is based on both our location (we’re in Washington, DC) and the simple fact that what the U.S. does, in general, has an enormous impact on the world. (more…)