Russia Is Right, There Is No Connection Between Climate, National Security, and the United Nations’ Mission

Russia recently vetoed the U.N. Security Council Resolution aimed at labeling climate change a threat to international peace and security. They were right to block the United Nations’ efforts to expand its mission.

As described in an Associated Press (AP) story, titled “Russia vetoes UN resolution linking climate change, security,” the resolution would have made fighting climate change central to the U.N.s’ core and delegated mission to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation. Russia was joined in torpedoing this effort by India, which also voted no, and China, which, although abstaining spoke, out against the resolution.

“Spearheaded by Ireland and Niger, the proposal called for ‘incorporating information on the security implications of climate change’ into the council’s strategies for managing conflicts and into peacekeeping operations and political missions, at least sometimes,” writes the AP. “The measure also asked the U.N. secretary-general to make climate-related security risks ‘a central component’ of conflict prevention efforts and to report on how to address those risks in specific hotspots.”

Russia, India, and China were right to reject the climate/conflict resolution. There is no evidence climate change is causing or exacerbating armed global conflicts, nor, as shown on Climate Realism, here, here, and here, for example, is it not causing mass migration which, in some regions has resulted in or from conflict. Also, as explored here, here, and here, for example, there is no evidence climate change is hampering military preparedness in the United States or elsewhere in the world.

According to the AP’s report, China’s, India’s, and Russia’s U.N. envoys expressed concern that “adding climate change to the Security Council’s purview would only deepen global divisions.”

The AP reports, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the proposed resolution would turn “‘a scientific and economic issue into a politicized question,’ divert the council’s attention from … ‘genuine’ sources of conflict in various places and give the council a pretext to intervene in virtually any country on the planet. ‘This approach would be a ticking time bomb,’” said Nebenzia.

China’s Ambassador Zhang Jun agreed, saying, “What the Security Council needs to do is not a political show.”

China’s and Russia’s geo-political moves are often objectionable. But their action to prevent the U.N. from treating global warming as an international security issue and a threat to peace, was justified. There are many sources of conflict within and between nations. There is no evidence climate change one of them. The U.N. has more than enough on its plate in its attempts to reduce conflict and secure peace around the world without going off on an unjustified tangent and adding climate change as a central concern.

H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.

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