The council met in New York to discuss the potential effects of global warming, but according to Bloomberg the two permanent members objected to it being a 'formal session’.
Despite the participation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this meant the session – planned by Pakistan and the United Kingdom – had few political implications.
China, Russia, India and more than 100 developing countries oppose climate becoming a UNSC issue as the council does not operate under the principles of Common But Differentiated Responsibility, which underpins the UN climate talks.
They are concerned that securitizing the issue would place a greater burden on poorer nations with large greenhouse gas emissions to take action.
The Security Council is mandated to take primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security (Pic: UN Photos)
Small island states vulnerable to sea level rises have pushed for climate to be discussed at this level for over two decades.
Marshall Islands representative Tony deBrum expressed frustration with Russia and China’s stance, explaining that 35 years on from gaining independence from the USA the very existence of his country is now in question.
“Our roads are inundated every 14 days,” he said. “We have to ration water three times a week. People have emergency kits for water. We can no longer use well water because it’s inundated with salt.”
The meeting – the third in UNSC history – was convened by council President Pakistan and permanent member the United Kingdom, which despite domestic criticism over its low carbon strategy appears to be embarking on a new initiative to inject momentum into global efforts to cut emissions.
The UK’s new climate envoy Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti is pushing for climate change to be framed as a global security concern.
“The UK believes that the impacts of a changing climate pose a significant and emerging threat to a country’s national security and prosperity,” a Foreign Office spokesman told RTCC.
“The UK is engaging with our international partners and through international forums to better manage this risk.”
For the complete article, please see Responding to Climate Change.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are currently engaged in vital talks over the dispute relating to the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River. While non-African actors are increasingly present in the negotiations, the African Union (AU) is playing a marginal role.
Climate change was more central than ever at this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC), the leading international forum for senior military, security and foreign policy leaders. The release of the inaugural “World Climate and Security Report 2020” (WCSR 2020) by the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) should help policymakers take effective action.
The mission of the Munich Security Conference is to “address the world’s most pressing security concerns”. These days, that means climate security: climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier, and anyone discussing food security, political instability, migration, or competition over resources should be aware of the climate change pressures that are so often at the root of security problems.
The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action. Indeed, climate change impacts are already increasing the pressure on states and societies; however, it is not yet clear how the EU can engage on climate security and environmental peacemaking. In this light, and in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency, adelphi and its partners are organising a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead”.