Our interest in the relationship between geopolitics and sustainable development is driven by a growing realization that both the security and environment establishments have a limited understanding of how environmental constraints, changing ecosystems and growing pressures on limited resources have begun to change geopolitical patterns and strategies. Likewise, the influence of changing power structures on the governance of ecosystems – including the climate – and scarce resources is poorly understood, to the detriment of science-policy dialogues and research.

Given SEI’s experience in areas such as scenario development, energy systems, climate change and resource governance, combined with a deepening understanding (and growing research capacity) of political economy contexts at global, regional and local scales and their interlinkages, we are very well-placed to bring together the necessary perspectives and partners to explore these issues and communicate our insights to policy audiences.
The aim is to improve our common understanding of the ways in which new geopolitical dynamics can be incorporated into our thinking about sustainable development pathways, making them more effective and robust, and to provide the scientific underpinnings for development of geopolitical strategies that reflect sustainability considerations.