J.O.E 环保联盟 | J.O.E Eco Alliance

联合国副秘书长强调气候变化因素与冲突之间存在关联

迪卡洛在题为“解决气候相关灾难对国际和平与安全所造成影响”辩论会上表示,去年10月,政府间气候变化专门委员会发布的一份报告预测,将出现更多热浪、更猛烈的暴雨、更高的海平面以及可能对农业造成的更大危害。这些趋势对整个世界构成了一种安全风险。然而,最强烈地感受到它们后果的地区是一些已经非常脆弱的区域,在这些地方,气候变化和极端天气加剧了本已存在的不满和威胁。

迪卡洛表示,气候相关的风险与冲突之间所存在的关系非常复杂,通常与政治、社会、经济和人口因素相互交织在一起。海平面上升对气候变化造成了显著影响,最终威胁到了海岸社区和小岛屿国家的生存。另一个严重后果便是极端天气。在一个月的时间里,伊尔玛、哈维和玛丽亚飓风使居住在美洲和加勒比大西洋沿岸的300万人流离失所,这一地区的小岛屿发展中国家最强烈地感受到了这一影响。例如,在海地,自发生2010年最大的一次地震以来,一系列与气候相关的灾难已经席卷了整个国家,并导致不稳定和人道主义危机继续蔓延。

迪卡洛指出,气候变化也以一种间接但却严重的方式影响到了安全与和平。例如,在萨赫勒和苏丹,气候变化加剧了对日益减少的土地、森林和水资源的争夺,加剧了放牧者与农民之间的对立。在乍得湖盆地,气候变化导致不可预测的降雨模式,干扰了传统的生计选择方式,使社会经济方面的排外变得更加严重,并使年轻人更容易加入武装团体。

迪卡洛表示,同气候相关的流离失所也已构成一个严重的问题。索马里频繁而持久的干旱构成了该国260万人逃离家园的一个主要因素,进而又推升了当地的紧张局势以及人口贩运、儿童遭受盘剥和武装团体强征入伍等一系列问题。与此同时,在南亚,最近的研究显示,气候变化对生计状况的消极影响同内部冲突烈度的增加存在关联。

迪卡洛表示,鉴于安理会所发挥的关键角色和肩负的责任,她对安理会举行当天的辩论感到鼓舞。她表示,这表明安理会有意愿就与气候相关风险对国际和平与安全产生的影响建立一种共识。

“The relationship between climate-related risks and conflict is complex and often intersects with political, social, economic and demographic factors,” said Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs in her opening remarks.

“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,” she stressed.

The meeting took place almost two months after 197 parties to the UN Climate Change Convention agreed to a concrete way forward on implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement – which aims to keep global warming under 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels – and ahead of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, convened for 23 September this year.

Climate risk: to debate or not to debate?

Whether climate change is an issue that should be examined by the UN’s peace and security body to begin with, has been the subject of controversy. Some Member States believe that this is stepping on the toes of other UN entities, specifically mandated with taking a lead on social and economic development, or environmental protection.

The first ever meeting of the Security Council examining the linkages between climate change and insecurity happened in April 2007. Since then, the UN body has increasingly taken steps that effectively acknowledge that the two issues are related: in July 2011, another open debate on the matter was held; in March 2017, resolution 2349 was adopted highlighting the need to address climate-related risks in order to tackle the conflict in the Lake Chad basin; and in July 2018, a debate was held on “understanding and addressing climate-related security risks”.

In a sign of how important the discussion is to many countries, the debate was attended by over 70 Member States and included statements in the Council chamber from a dozen Ministers, including Kuwait, Belgium, Indonesia, Germany and Poland.

‘Keeping up with the challenge’

After citing the various ways in which UN political missions, regional or country-based, are already actively seeking ways to address climate-related security risks, Ms. DiCarlo insisted on the need to focus on three key areas:

Developing stronger analytical capacity with integrated risk assessment frameworks.
Collecting stronger evidence base so good practices on climate risk prevention and management can be replicated in the field.
Building and reinforcing partnerships to leverage existing capacities within and outside the UN system.
“Most important, for all of us, is the recognition that deeds must follow words. 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.

“We cannot lag behind. We must act now, with a sense of urgency and a commitment to place people, especially those most marginalized and vulnerable, at the centre of our efforts,” she stated.

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.

Mr. Steiner cited some of the hundreds of projects carried out by UNDP in some 140 countries, including a water management system in the Maldives, the development of a vulnerability index to facilitate preparedness, and a financial support scheme for vulnerable households in the Caribbean.

Scientists and youth to advise the Council

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.

Professor Pavel Kabat, Chief Scientist at the WMO brought some clear scientific data to the table, to inform the debate. “Climate change has a multitude of security impacts - rolling back the gains in nutrition and access to food; heightening the risk of wildfires and exacerbating air quality challenges; increasing the potential for water conflict; leading to more internal displacement and migration,” he said. “It is increasingly regarded as a national security threat.”

He noted that WMO stands ready to support the UN and Member States with “cutting-edge science” and “expert information” so informed decisions can be made.

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 came to the meeting with three key asks for the UN body:

A resolution officially recognizing climate change as a threat to international peace and security.
An assessment on how climate change impacts local youth (e.g., through displacement, unemployment, food insecurity, and recruitment in armed groups).
A reduction of reliance on fossil fuel energy in UN missions worldwide and a commitment 50 per cent of energy used to be from renewable sources by 2025, with regular reporting to the Secretary-General to monitor progress.
She finished by reminding 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.”

Source: UN