Wrong forum: On climate change and the UNSC

The attempt to securitise the climate change agenda could have unintended consequences

Currently, all matters related to climate change are being discussed in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a specialised agency. And with over 190 members, its framework has made progress in tackling climate change. It is this process that led to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement and the recent COP26 summit, and has put in place an international approach to combat global climate change. Sure, there is valid criticism that decision making at UNFCCC conferences is slow and there has to be faster collective action to tackle climate change and associated challenges. But the solution is not outsourcing decision making to the five permanent members of the UNSC. Also, it is wrong to look at climate change through the prism of security. Each nation faces different challenges in transitioning into a greener economy. As India’s Permanent Representative at the UN T.S. Tirumurti pointed out, the developed countries, all big polluters, have not met the promises they made with regard to climate action. The least developed and developing countries should be encouraged to keep the promises they made with financial assistance. This needs to be a collective process and the best way is through the UNFCCC, where decisions made are by consensus. The UNFCCC should not only make sure that the promises made by member countries, especially the powerful ones, in previous conferences are kept but also expand the scope of discussions to include climate-related security issues.

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