The 15 members of the Security Council have divergent approaches to the question of the implications of climate change for world peace.
This Tuesday, February 23, 2021, the UN Security Council is holding a summit of leaders, at the initiative of Briton Boris Johnson, to debate the implications of climate change for world peace, a subject on which its 15 members have divergent approaches. This session is being held a few days after the formal return of the United States, under the leadership of Democrat Joe Biden, in the 2015 Paris agreement to limit global warming.
In addition to Boris Johnson, whose country is chairing the Security Council in February, interventions are expected from UN chief Antonio Guterres, US climate change envoy John Kerry, French presidents Emmanuel Macron and Tunisian Kais Saied. , the Chinese foreign minister and the prime ministers of Ireland, Vietnam, Kenya, Estonia and Norway, according to diplomats.
The session will serve as a test for Sino-US relations, said an ambassador on condition of anonymity, referring to one of the few areas on which the two global rivals could agree. The game is far from over, however. “We will have to look at how the Chinese position themselves in relation to the Americans”, notes the same ambassador. “By tradition, the Russians and the Chinese will say that (the climate) has nothing to do with the subjects of the Security Council”. “But today, the Chinese are likely to be slightly open to discussion, which would isolate the Russians,” he adds. What Russia does not want is to make climate an issue in its own right among the subjects dealt with by the Security Council. On the other hand, talking about it “on a case-by-case basis” suits them, diplomats explain to AFP.
Some of the non-permanent members of the Council, such as Kenya or Niger, “feel very keenly” the impact of climate change on the security situation. Others are reluctant, do not want “the Security Council to transform itself into a new body which will be concerned with financing, adaptation, negotiation,” he continues. “Both China and Russia, but not only them, are reluctant to see the Council talk about climate change and its implications,” confirms a third ambassador also on condition of anonymity, ruling out the adoption at this stage of a common text.
In the Lake Chad region in central Africa, the issue is not a question “for tomorrow, it already exists since yesterday”, quips an ambassador, referring to “access to water resources” and ” the production of fodder ”which can cause“ intercommunity violence ”and“ siphoning ”from the populations of young people unemployed by jihadist groups. India and Mexico, who joined the Security Council in January and are progressive on the subject, also have things to say, said another diplomat.
The arrival of the Biden administration, with views radically opposed to those defended by Donald Trump, should change the dynamics of the Council around this subject, according to diplomats. Today, with the new American approach, there is “a door of opportunity” for this text “remained in the freezer,” said an ambassador sitting on the Security Council.
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