A senior UN official is warning climate change could threaten world peace and exacerbate current crises.
According to Achim Steiner of the UN’s Environment Program, climate change will also “exponentially” increase the scale of natural disasters.
Steiner’s comments were echoed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon during a recent Security Council debate about shifting weather patterns.
“Extreme weather events continue to grow more frequent and intense in rich and poor countries alike, not only devastating lives, but also infrastructure, institutions, and budgets – an unholy brew which can create dangerous security vacuums,” said Moon.
“Climate change not only exacerbates threats to international peace and security; it is a threat to international peace and security.”
However, despite Moon’s passionate speech, the 15-member Security Council failed to agree on whether climate change should be considered a direct threat to international peace and security.
Instead, the Council made do with a presidential statement expressing concern over “possible adverse effects of climate change,” which could, in the long run, “aggravate certain existing threats to international peace and security.”
Unsurprisingly, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice slammed the UNSC for its failure to reach a consensus on the issue, despite “manifest evidence” that climate change poses a clear and present danger to world peace.
“This is more than disappointing. It’s pathetic, it’s short-sighted and frankly it’s a dereliction of duty,” she added.