The social problems caused by climate change will be like the severe weather problems caused by climate change. Human conflict will influenced by, exacerbated by, and perhaps made more frequent by climate change, but they won’t be a different kind of conflict. And normal human conflicts can be mitigated or prevented by keeping the government and the economy healthy.
We found that climate variations such as regional drought and global temperature did not significantly impact the level of regional conflict or the number of total displaced people. The major driving forces on conflict were rapid population growth, reduced or negative economic growth and instability of political regimes. Numbers of total displaced people were linked to rapid population growth and low or stagnating economic growth.
The evidence from East Africa is that no single factor can fully explain conflict and the displacement of people. Instead, conflict seems to be linked primarily to long-term population growth, short-term economic recessions and extreme political instability. Halvard Buhaug, a professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, looked at the same questions in 2015 and his study reached much the same conclusion: sociopolitical factors were more important than climate change.