I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Friends on Climate
and Security: a broad and diverse group of now over 60 states from all regions of the
world. At the outset, let me extend the group’s appreciation to: Kenya H.E. Martin
Kimani and Norway H.E Mona Juul for giving the Group of Friends on Climate and
Security the opportunity to co-sponsor and speak on this important issue.
Climate change remains the single most destructive threat to the existence and
wellbeing of all humankind since prehistoric times. Climate change threatens our lives,
livelihoods, food security, stability, sustainable development, prosperity, the effective
enjoyment of human rights, and ultimately, peace and security. It threatens in some
cases possibly even to the existence of states and the physical lives of their citizens.
The evidence is clear that climate change does contribute to increased conflict, but
along complex pathways. There are a variety of context factors — in particular,
socioeconomic conditions, governance, and political factors — that interact and play
a key role in translating climate change into conflict risks.
The fundamental question we therefore ask today is what could the UN peace and
security architecture achieve by integrating climate, peace, and security to guide
conflict prevention, peacebuilding, mediation, and peacekeeping efforts? And what
should the Security Council do in that regard – as this is, after all, a meeting of the
The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international
peace and security. We thank the Security Council for recognizing the adverse effects
of climate change on conflict dynamics in its consideration of a growing number of
mandates for peacekeeping and special political missions. We welcome the progress
made so far and thank the Security Council and commend the work of the Informal
Expert Group of Members of the Security Council, who have been crucial in informing
the Council’s work in this regard.
While we recognise the good work of the UN Security Council, more needs to be done!
States must redouble their efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and take
urgent climate mitigation action to keep a 1.5-degree limit to warming within reach. To
this end, States must also take ambitious actions in their implementation of the Paris
Agreement and decisions under the Paris Agreement, including the Glasgow Climate
Adaptation and mitigation should be our collective goal as a part of a larger strategy
aimed at increasing resilience to climate change in some of the most vulnerable
communities in the world and preventing an even greater elevation of risk through
effective mitigation measures. The IPCC report identified that environmental
peacebuilding through natural resource sharing, conflict-sensitive adaptation and
climate-resilient peacebuilding as an area offer avenues for addressing conflict risks.
To conclude, let me reiterate that the consequences of climate change constitute
major threats to the international community, including its clear impact as a risk
multiplier for peace and security now as well as in the decades to come. As the
Secretary-General “Our Common Agenda” reports clearly states, no nation can face
this challenge alone. To build peace, to sustain peace, to prevent conflict in the face
of the climate crisis. We must act together, and we must act now.