ASP’s Andrew Holland and Xander Vagg, Senior and Junior Fellow for Energy and Climate, respectively, published an op ed in The Diplomat on the failure of the UN Security Council to consider climate change as a global security threat. China and Russia, supported by 130 other nations, blocked discussion on climate change in the UNSC, preferring climate change be considered in other fora such as the UNFCCC. ASP’s Holland and Vagg argue that climate change is already contributing to instability around the world, and as the consequences of climate change worsen, security threats will only increase. As a result, the UNSC needs to lead on this issue. From the article:
The truth is that climate change is a clear and present danger to global security as changing weather patterns are inherently destabilize and exacerbate existing tensions within and between states by disrupting food, water, and energy security. As the American Security Project’s Climate Security Report outlined, climate change creates insecurity by greatly increasing the frequency and severity of droughts, flooding, wildfires, food insecurity and water scarcity, as well as undermining agriculture, infrastructure, economicwell-being and public health. As the U.S. Department of Defense has argued persuasively, climate change in and of itself is unlikely to cause conflict, but instead acts as an “accelerant of instability or conflict,” which are hardly in short supply around the world.
Similarly, countries as varied as Latvia, Indonesia, Malawi, and Qatar have made unequivocal statements acknowledging the very real security dimensions of climate change. In fact, research has found that over 70 percent of countries worldwide consider climate change a serious security threat. It’s rare to find such consensus within the international community, which only serves to underscore the widespread impact of the issue.
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