Taoiseach to push China, Russia, and India to accept link between climate crisis and security

Taoiseach to push China, Russia, and India to accept link between climate crisis and security

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will warn the Security Council that a failure to link the two issues will harm the credibility of the UN.
Picture: Brian Lawless

The Taoiseach will push three of the largest countries in the world to accept the link between climate change and global security when he chairs a meeting of the UN Security Council today.

Micheál Martin will become the first head of state to chair a meeting on the issue in New York, with Ireland targeting the passing of a resolution on the issue during its two-year term on the Security Council.

However, Irish sources say that there is a major reluctance to link the climate crisis and security by permanent members China and Russia, as well as non-permanent member India. 

Germany, whose place on the council Ireland took, tried to get a similar resolution passed in 2019, but was unsuccessful. 

Sources said that the three holdouts do not believe that the Security Council should deal with climate change issue.

Ireland, however, sees it as "indisputable" that the two issues are linked and is joined by the US, the UK, France, and the other non-permanent members of the council. 

Ireland will warn the council that a failure to link the two issues will harm the credibility of the UN.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Martin said that Ireland was hopeful it could succeed where Germany had not and confirmed Ireland was working on a resolution on the matter.

Our team is working very hard to get the agreement of the Security Council on accepting the concept of the link between climate and security. 

"Now, we've achieved a lot of progress on that front. There are still some remaining member states we have to work on and work with, to get a consensus and this work is ongoing, but our team is working hard."

Today, Mr Martin will tell the Security Council that conflict and diminishing resource availability due to climate change has "resulted in the breakdown of traditional systems for sharing resources and has led to violence between communities".

He will say that it is "crucial that the Security Council considers the impact of climate change in its work to prevent and end conflict".

Ireland has placed climate and security as one of its priorities during its term on the UN Security Council, making the point that extreme weather events have displaced over 24m people in recent years.

Mr Martin will tell the council that in the Horn of Africa, repeated droughts are undermining communities and disrupting livelihoods, with armed groups being able to exploit these precarious conditions for recruitment purposes and that "these interlinkages cannot be ignored".

Ireland is currently acting as co-chair of the council’s informal expert group on climate and security, along with Niger.

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