Allowing the Security Council to tackle climate change

…is a very bad idea.

Given its dismal record—of acting in the interests of its permanent members rather than that of international security—letting the UN Security Council take up climate change is neither good for climate nor for security. It’s not difficult to see how the P5 will use this to their advantage in climate change negotiations elsewhere. But Britain has fired the first salvo:

And yet the simple statement of fact that climate change is making the world more dangerous has provoked controversy around the globe this week. In the line of fire is Margaret Beckett, the British foreign secretary who this week put the issue on the United Nations Security Council agenda for the first time.

At the UN debate, the Group of 77 developing countries – which includes Brazil, India and South Africa – protested at the “ever-increasing encroachment by the Security Council” on the roles of other UN bodies. China, which has grave environmental problems of its own, fully endorsed their objections. Russia warned against overdramatising the problem. The US preferred to laud its own, inadequate efforts to combat climate change and to suggest that international economic growth would solve the problem. [FT]

Update:Beckett states her case:

But, charged as it is with the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council can make a unique contribution to building a shared understanding of what an unstable climate will mean for our individual and collective security. [DT]

Nice try!

1 thought on “Allowing the Security Council to tackle climate change”

  1. UN Security Council, for all its failures, has neither responsibility nor obligation to take up climate change on its agenda. It has several grave issues to address on extreme urgency like humanitarian crises in Darfur, addressing global nuclear proliferation and UN reform for addressing the challenges more assertively. Not that it will do any good on these fronts but it is taking up climate change issue to sidetrack its own poor record in tackling it. Climate change should be kept out of multilateral forums so that we do not waste any more time discussing and formulating a treaty like Kyoto protocol for rest of the world. Each country owes tackling climate change for its own future generations. The over-bureaucratic UN is incapable of setting up a moral tone for the climate change as it is toothless in enforcing it.

Comments are closed.