25 Jun 2024

The Burning Question

Climate and conflict – why does it matter?

In his book, Andrew Gilmour explores how climate change contributes to conflict and undermines prospects for peace. He also examines how we can ensure that our efforts to address the climate crisis advance sustainable peace.


Andrew Gilmour


Building on his thorough understanding of global conflicts and drawing on a wealth of real-life examples, he addresses a wide range of political and practical issues and their cascading effects on human and national security in a refreshing and accessible manner.



"Gilmour’s elegantly written book is necessary, timely and important. It’s a call to action for anyone who cares about the future of the human race." NEIL MACKAY,The Herald

The Burning Question: Climate and Conflict – Why Does it Matter? [is] a thought-provoking book on the links between global warming and war.” HUGO DIXON, Reuters Breakingviews

“Andrew Gilmour does not just explain the problems, but also navigates ways of dealing with them, drawing on a long and distinguished career that has given him invaluable experience, authority and insight. As the author makes so clear, the best place to start with a changing world is to understand it. In parts sobering but also optimistic, The Burning Question does what all good books do: it makes you think. This is an important and timely book that sets out the existential risks that do not just lie ahead of us, but are already here.” PETER FRANKOPAN, Author of The Silk Roads and The Earth Transformed

“Despite thinking I understood the topic of this book already, I learned so much from this beautiful piece of work. Andrew Gilmour is right: as wars rage around us, it’s essential both to take action against climate change and to do so in ways that reduce rather than risk further conflict. His call to action comes from a searing analysis of how climate justice and political conflict interact. The warning is clear, as are the lessons on what works and what does not. The book succeeds in showing us why climate change has to be a collective effort from this day forward.” MONICA MCWILLIAMS, Author of Stand Up, Speak Out

“In this important and timely book, Andrew Gilmour explains how climate change contributes to the intensification of social and political conflict across the world. With a wealth of examples from across the Global South, he documents the unequal burden borne by women in conditions of social strife and/or resource scarcity. He explores the role of public policy, community action, restoration ecology, and technological innovation in mitigating conflicts caused by climate change always with the aim of helping the poorest and most vulnerable. Andrew Gilmour provides a fresh, and complementary, perspective, with his analysis of climate change conflicts, their origins, articulations, and possible resolutions. His is an admirable effort at what he aptly terms ‘environmental peacebuilding.’ His book deserves to be widely read.” RAMACHANDRA GUHA, Biographer of Gandhi and author of Environmentalism: A Global History

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