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Is UN Security Council inept in resolving climate change?

Is UN Security Council inept in resolving climate change?

Despite India’s staunch opposition to UNCS’s mandate on climate change, the securitisation of climate change is inevitable and indispensable.

On December 13, 2021, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) failed to adopt a resolution on climate change induced security risks that exacerbates conflict across the geo-political fault lines. India, as the only non-permanent member voted against the draft resolution, permanent member Russia vetoed it and China abstained. UNSC recorded 12 in favour of the resolution (backed by more than 112 members of the UN).

India voted against the resolution as it argued that the UNSC was not the place to discuss either issue of climate change and climate justice. India also intensely submitted that handling of climate change at the UNSC is neither acceptable nor desirable.

Despite India’s staunch opposition to UNCS’s mandate on climate change, the securitisation of climate change is inevitable and indispensable.

The draft resolution, sponsored by Ireland and Niger and supported by Kenya and majority of the UNSC members, recommended adopting climate-related security risk as a central component into UNSC’s comprehensive conflict-prevention strategies.

The draft resolution argued that adverse effects of climate change can lead to “social tensions, exacerbating, prolonging or contributing to the risk of future conflicts and instability and posing a key risk to global peace, security, and stability”.

It is to be noted that the UNSC mandate according to the UN Charter is “to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the UN”.

Additionally, the draft resolution asked the Secretary-General to submit a report “on the security implications of the adverse effects of climate change in relevant country or region-specific contexts on the Council’s agenda as well as recommendations on how climate-related security risks can be addressed” in two years to UNSC.


Despite India’s staunch opposition to UNCS’s mandate on climate change, the securitisation of climate change is inevitable and indispensable.
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