Climate  and Security

Climate and Security

Human security is “a condition that exists when the vital core of human lives is protected” (IPCC, AR5 (2014)) and arises from the complex interaction of multiple cross-cutting factors. Within this complexity, there are critical interlinkages between the consequences of climate change and fundamental elements of human security.

On January 25, 2019, the UN Security Council held an open debate on the theme “Addressing the impacts of climate-related disasters on international peace and security.” This debate reflects a historical trend dating back to 2007 when the UN Security Council held its first debate on the impacts of climate change on peace and security, followed by debates in 2011 and July 2018, and recent Council resolutions and statements acknowledging the adverse impacts of climate change on the stability of certain regions and countries, such as the Lake Chad Basin region, Somalia, West Africa and the Sahel, Mali, and Darfur. Yet, insufficient progress has been made with respect to the climate-security nexus since 2007, and the moment is ripe during this 2019-2020 timeframe to make a concerted push to put the human security implications of climate change squarely on the UN Security Council agenda, as complementary to the UNFCCC which remains the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

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