India opposes UNSC draft resolution that attempts to 'securitize' climate change

India has opposed a UN Security Council draft resolution on climate change, saying that attempts to link climate with security seek to obfuscate the lack of progress on critical issues under the UNFCCC process

Dec 14, 2021
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India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti

India has opposed a UN Security Council draft resolution on climate change, saying that attempts to link climate with security seek to obfuscate the lack of progress on critical issues under the UNFCCC process. India also said that developed countries must provide climate finance of $1 trillion at the earliest and stressed that developed countries have fallen well short of their promises.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti, in his remarks on Monday, while voting against the UNSC draft resolution that attempted to "securitize climate action" and undermine the hard-won consensual agreements in Glasgow", also voiced concern at the manner in which the issue was brought before the UNSC.

“Over the last nearly three decades, all Member States have negotiated collectively and with consensus an elaborate and equitable architecture to combat every aspect of climate change. While arriving at far-reaching consensual decisions, we have tried to accommodate each other’s interests and specific national circumstances,” he said, adding that this has been done under the UN-led UNFCCC with the participation of all Member States.

He said that members need to question why the issue has been brought under the UNSC, when it can be collectively done under the UNFCCC process.

“Why is it that one needs a UN Security Council resolution to take action on climate change when we have commitment made under UNFCCC towards concrete climate action? The honest answer is that there is no real requirement for this resolution, except for the purpose of bringing climate change under the ambit of the Security Council.

“And the reason for that is now decisions can then be taken without involvement of most developing countries and without recognizing consensus. And all this can be done in the name of preserving international peace and security,” he said.

“So, let us be clear about the issues today. Climate change decisions are sought to be taken out of the wider international community represented in the UNFCCC and given instead to the Security Council. Ironically, many of the UNSC members are the main contributors of climate change due to historical emissions. If the Security Council indeed takes over the responsibility on this issue, a few states will then have a free hand in deciding on all climate-related issues. This is clearly neither desirable nor acceptable,” he added.

Tirumurti said that while India recognizes the fact that climate change has impacted the lives of people and may have even exacerbated conflicts in Sahel and other parts of Africa, but viewing conflicts through the prism of climate change is misleading.

“Over-simplification of causes of conflict will not help in resolving them; worse, it can be misleading. This is the reason India supported a draft focusing exclusively on the Sahel. But this was not considered by the sponsors for reasons best known to them,” he added.

He said the draft UNSC Resolution “attempts to undermine the hard-won consensus which we reached in Glasgow”.

“This draft resolution would only sow the seeds of discord among the larger UN membership,” Tirumurti said, adding that “it sends a wrong message to the developing countries that instead of addressing their concerns and holding developed countries responsible for meeting their commitments under the UNFCCC, we are willing to be divided and side-tracked under the guise of security.”

He termed the draft resolution as “a step backward” from the collective resolve to combat climate change.

“It seeks to hand over that responsibility to a body which neither works through consensus nor is reflective of the interests of the developing countries. India had no option but to vote against,” he added.(SAM)

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