As climate change is increasingly recognized as a “threat multiplier” by scientists, political representatives, and civil society across the world, the United Nations Security Council held an open debate on Friday to discuss its concrete impact on peace and security, and focus on tangible ways to diminish the effects of global warming.
“The risks associated with climate-related disasters do not represent a scenario of some distant future. They are already a reality for millions of people around the globe – and they are not going away,” said Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs in her opening remarks. Major armies and businesses have long recognized the need to prepare for climate-related risks, rightfully assessing climate change as a threat multiplier,” said the UN Political Affairs chief, .
The Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, also delivered remarks, by phone. An environmentalist by training, he noted that climate change is “not only affecting the atmosphere, but also the biosphere”, and that the world is “not keeping up with the challenge.” He called on the Security Council to recognize the science and empirical evidence, leverage all possible measures that can slow global warming, and invest in climate adaptation and risk reduction for the millions of people already suffering from the effects of climate change.
For the first time in history, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was invited to brief the members of the Security Council on climate and extreme weather issues. Before the floor was opened to Members of the Security Council, a youth representative and a researcher on environmental security, Lindsay Getschel, was also invited to speak. She reminded those present in the room that many across the world “do not have the luxury to not care about this issue,” and called on world leaders to “live up to their words.”
Excerpted from UN News/Global Perspective Human Stories, 25 January 2019