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Updated: Oct 5, 2021

While low carbon development has galvanised many governments and regions to tackle climate change, there are security concerns that are often overlooked. Problematising low carbon development can help us question the assumptions about climate threats and how we deal with them. While low carbon development such as renewable energy development might bring about new economic opportunities, it’s worth looking carefully into new security concerns that may emerge as well as old concerns that become further entrenched.

The recent publication by Dr Naho Mirumachi uncovers five dimensions of climate security that is worth examining in more detail: spatially uneven effects of low carbon development; violent imaginaries of the global south and the production of ‘ungoverned spaces’; non-violent yet harmful instances of conflict; marginalization and dispossession; depoliticized, techno-managerial effects of resilience.

Lake Turkana Wind Power turbines in Loiyangalani, Marsabit county, Kenya. Oct. 2018. Photo: Galgallo Guyo (Local project RA in Kenya)

This three-year grant was awarded by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS) to support research that investigates the changing livelihood conditions around the Omo-Turkana Basin—a lake basin which supports over 5 million people.

Dr Matthew Osborne, SEI research fellow, along with Dr Naho Mirumachi, King’s College London, will lead a multidisciplinary research team with individuals from institutes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom who will document changing livelihood conditions and monitor impacts of renewable energy projects on peace and security.

The project seeks to develop tools to build policymakers’ and implementers’ capacities to implement conflict-sensitive renewables development.

As well as academic partners, the project includes civil society, governmental and multi-lateral partners, including: Turkana University and Turkana Pastoralist Development Organisation (TUPADO).

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