…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]