Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing “Climate change, peace, and security”

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June 13, 2022


We thank USG Lacroix, President Santos, and Ms.Kadry for the briefings.

We thank the United Arab Emirates for the huge preparatory work that has been accomplished in the run-up to the UNFCCC COP-28 in Dubai. Holding discussions of global problems that are caused by the changing climate is essential, especially for the developing states.

Yet we believe that here at the UN we do not put enough emphasis on the crucial role of issues relating to sustainable development in the set of measures for conflict prevention. We only stress climate, ripping it out of a broader context. Promotion of economic growth and social welfare, and tackling of inequality are important elements of establishing resilient communities, capable of adapting effectively to climatic challenges.  Ensuring sustainable development certainly contributes to eliminating the prerequisites for conflict.

We emphasize that the problem of climate financing remains very relevant. We would like to draw the Council’s attention to the fact that developed countries are masters of alarmism about the “climate crisis”. It is easy to make such populist statements, but when the UNFCCC turns to substantive discussions on real measures, such as financing and technology transfer, concrete steps for adaptation and filling the new Loss and Damage Fund, all the fervor of donor countries disappears in an amazing way. We call on developed countries, instead of mainstreaming this popular agenda to every possible process and authority, first to implement their commitments by providing financial resources and transferring technology to developing countries to support their efforts to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects. Honorable John Kerry also talked about funding. At COP-28, it is the implementation of decisions to fill the Loss and Damage Fund (and not a Security Council debate) that will be a real litmus test to show willingness to contribute to combating the negative effects of climate change.

It is true that in some country or region-specific situations climate can be a factor to aggravate conflict. However Russia consistently sticks to the point that climatic discussions are not part of UNSC mandate and that they only divert attention from primary reasons of conflicts that often pertain to the socio-economic domain. Of course, various institutes and research centers can have their views, but we doubt that they hold adequate expertise to assess how climate relates to security. There is no science-based data to prove a direct climate-security nexus. This is also confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Just to remind, climatic changes occurred on the Earth throughout all phases of its existence driving temperatures either up or down, which occasionally produced a negative impact on the habitat.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement are key mechanisms to address issues relating to climate. They bring countries together to solve this global problem by collective efforts. We need to observe the “division of labor” that was envisaged by the UN Charter, without duplicating the work of these instruments.  We are firmly convinced that the General Assembly, ECOSOC, the UN Development System, and, again, the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, are reliable platforms to articulate response to environmental and sustainable development challenges. Russia is ready to continue engaging actively with all countries in the framework of the mentioned formats in order to mitigate the negative impact of climate change.

Thank you.

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