Dan Smith, Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, talks about why climate change with its destabilizing effects will inevitably land on the agenda of the UN Security Council and further elaborates on what the UNSC’s main tasks will be in this regard.

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"Over the years, there has been a big controversy about whether the UN Security Council really has a role in climate change issues but I think the work of groups like this one, the Planetary Security Initiative community, work that has been done on “A New Climate for Peace” and so on, has steadily gotten the point home, basically these issues are going to land on the desk of the UN Secretary General and on the agenda of the UN SC whether they like it or not, because climate change is unfolding, it is destabilizing effects and that is going to contribute – aligned with other causes of course – to violent conflict. They are going to have to handle. Then the question is what can they do except sit there and wait for the next disaster to land on their desk. And the answer is they have got to address the structural risks. The problems that we can foresee that are in general terms created by the interaction of climate change, global inequality and so on. They have got to figure out how the UN system as a whole can respond to that. And that is a task for the UN SC to take up. It is highly appropriate and I am very hopeful that something will unfold on that in a quite serious way across the next 2 years.”

 

This interview was conducted at the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, 5-6 December 2016.