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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Climate change and security

Britain holds the presidency of the United Nations Security Council this month and decided to introduce global warming as a threat to international peace and security, which is the domain of the body. The Guardian quoted British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett speaking to reporters in advance of the discussion:
"This is an issue which threatens the peace and security of the whole planet - this has to be the right place to debate it."
Inside the UNSC Beckett was just as direct:
"Climate change is a security issue but it is not a matter of narrow national security - it has a new dimension," she said. "This is about our collective security in a fragile and increasingly interdependent world."

...The foreign secretary quoted remarks made by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda that global warming is "an act of aggression by the rich against the poor".
The BBC coverage referenced the so-called "Stern report on climate change, which was commissioned by the UK government" and "warned of potential economic disruption on the scale of the two world wars and the Great Depression." A document circulated by the Brits warned about the potential security threat to be posed by 200 million environmental refugees, energy scarcity, and new border disputes caused by physical changes.

New Secretary-General "Ban Ki-moon said that 'issues of energy an climate change have implications for peace and security'." He also mentioned water and food scarcities as potential threats to peace and security.

Representatives from other European nations, small island nations (the Maldives, for example), Bangladesh, Panama, and Peru were also supportive of Britain's initiative. As expected, environmental NGOs, including Greenpeace, praised the effort.

Delegates from China, Pakistan, Russia and South Africa said that the UNSC was not the appropriate forum for the discussion. The Group of 77 argues that Britain's move is an effort to expand the power of the security council beyond its domain. As you might have expected, the American representative was not enthused either.

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  1. the Evil Empire: religion, armies, monarchies and politicians...are the causers of all wars

  2. ...year 2,300...the social progress has eradicated religion and monarchies and professional politicians, who lived from the Work of the People. Already there are not periodic economic crises artificially created and wars to prevent that People can live too much well... For what purpose have served all the wars that the World has had?: absolutely for nothing more but for enrichment of the "leaders" (see History). Before wars the People lived relatively well, after wars the People in rag in long lines for a bowl of hot soup...while the causers of those wars: monarchs, politicians and of all religions pontifex in their golden palaces were eating partridges...