Russia Vetoes UN Measure To Recognize Climate Change As Global Security Threat

Monday, Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council measure spearheaded by Ireland and Niger that would recognize climate change as a “threat” to “global security and peace”.

The resolution was called “incorporating information on the security implications of climate change” and would incorporate climate change into strategies for managing conflicts. 

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Strikingly similar rhetoric has been heard from Bernie Sanders. In 2016 he said “Climate change is the greatest threat to national security” amid the war on terror. 

The sentiments don’t seem to make sense. The only way that climate change could be a “risk to security” is if resources became so scarce that wars began as a result. 

ABC News reported, The council has passed resolutions that mention destabilizing effects of warming in specific places, such as various African countries and Iraq. But Monday’s resolution would have been the first devoted to climate-related security danger as an issue of its own.

Stronger storms, rising seas, more frequent floods and droughts and other effects of warming could inflame social tensions and conflict, potentially “posing a key risk to global peace, security and stability,” the proposed resolution said. Some 113 of the U.N.’s 193 member countries supported it, including 12 of the council’s 15 members.

When it came down to it, China abstained, Russia and India voted no. The envoys argued that talking about climate change on the security council would only deepen global divisions. They said that the issue should be reserved to other U.N. panels such as the Convention On Climate Change. 

The Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia asserted that the measure if passed would only turn “a scientific and economic issue into a politicized question,” justifying his vote. 

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He called the approach “a ticking time bomb” that would give the council the pretext to intervene in “virtually any country on the planet”. 


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