Ed King

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.

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