This project examines how supranational and non-state actors are anticipating changes in the biosphere and how they are developing their capacities to be able to rapidly respond to humanitarian crises and surprises in the multilateral contexts in which they operate. The project focuses on the European Union (EU), and particularly its efforts on crisis management and humanitarian aid, and humanitarian actors such as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The mounting impacts of climate and environmental changes undermine livelihood conditions and influence forced migration and displacement. This occurs particularly in already fragile contexts where the capacity of states and societies to mitigate and prevent humanitarian disasters is already low. Conflict-prone regions are among those very fragile contexts that face a double exposure to humanitarian need: from the adverse effects on the biosphere, and from violent conflict and dysfunctional regimes. Recent years have witnessed increases in humanitarian need, and continuing changes in the biosphere, protracted conflict and the erosion of multilateral order make it likely that humanitarian need will continue to rise. This raises pertinent questions about who should act and how in a world facing increasing humanitarian need. This project therefore aims to examine how supranational and non-state actors anticipate future challenges and humanitarian needs, as well as how they are developing their capacity to respond to humanitarian crises. It will do so by paying attention to three parallel processes of transformation: climate and environmental changes, rising geopolitical tensions and changes in the multilateral system, and emerging technologies.

Project participants: Niklas Bremberg (PL), Stockholm University, Malin Mobjörk, SIPRI, PhD student, SIPRI/SU and Anna Michalski, Uppsala University.

Contact: Niklas Bremberg