UN Secretary-General: “No region is immune to hazards of climate change”

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “UN Secretary-General: “No region is immune to hazards of climate change”” – below is their description.

Briefing by António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, on Climate and Security – Security Council, 8864th meeting.

Secretary-General António Guterres today (23 Sep) told the Security Council that the effects of climate change “are particularly profound when they overlap with fragility and past or current conflicts,” and are “complicating efforts to prevent conflict and to sustain peace.”

Against the backdrop of wildfires, flooding, droughts and other extreme weather events, the UN chief said “it is clear that climate change and environmental mismanagement are risk multipliers. Where coping capacities are limited and there is high dependence on shrinking natural resources and ecosystem services, such as water and fertile land, grievances and tensions can explode.”

Drawing attention to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last month, Secretary-General António Guterres urged the G20 industrialized nations to step up and drive action before the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in early November.

He explained that last year, climate-related disasters displaced more than 30 million people and that 90 percent of refugees come from countries least able to adapt to the climate crisis.

Guterres said many of these refugees are hosted by States also suffering the impacts of climate change, “compounding the challenge for host communities and national budgets.”

He called for unambiguous commitment and credible actions by all countries to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius; a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience; and for climate adaptation and peacebuilding to reinforce each other.

The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony John Blinken, said, “the climate crisis isn’t coming it is already here. And clear patterns are emerging in its impact.”

The consequences, he said, “are falling disproportionally on vulnerable and low-income populations. And they are worsening conditions and human suffering in places already afflicted by conflict, high levels of violence, instability.”

He stressed “the urgent need to dramatically cut our emissions and build our resilience for the inevitable changes to come.”

Blinken said, “we have to stop debating whether the climate crisis belongs in the Security Council and instead ask how the Council can leverage its unique powers to tackle the negative impacts of climate on peace and security. That’s an argument that should have been settled a long time ago.”

Niger’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Hassoumi Massoudou, told the Council that “although some may see these risks as new, for us in Niger and the Sahel region this is a reality which has already had real security and humanitarian consequences on our population, and this undermines our development efforts in a context already made more difficult by the pandemic.”

He said, “at this very time in the Sahel where agriculture is a pillar of the economy, where more than 80 percent of the people depend on agriculture and natural resources for their subsistence, climate change has intensified the competition for forage and hydric resources causing the resurgence of intracommunal conflicts among farmers, undermining peace consolidation efforts and development in the region.”

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun, for his part said the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Paris Agreement must be upheld “as the main channels and respect the right to speak on an equal footing by all countries on climate change issues.”

He said, “it would be inappropriate for the Security Council as a forum to replace the collective decision making by the international community.”

Outside the Council, Ireland’s Prime Minister, Micheál Martin was asked about China’s and Russia’s position. He said, “the obvious linkage now between climate and security and the impact on people on the ground, the impact on our peacekeepers, and the link to conflict, and as a factor in conflict, not the only factor, but as a factor in conflict. Climate change was accepted as a universal issue facing humankind. So, it makes sense that at the very high level of diplomacy, the Security Council, the highest level, should engage and deal with this issue.”

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About This Source - United Nations

The United Nations (UN) was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

The UN’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, who began his five year-term on 1 January 2017.


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