Why did India reject UNSC draft on climate?

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Why did India reject UNSC draft on climate?

  • A draft proposal on climate change was introduced in the United Nations Security Council by Niger and Ireland and claimed to be backed by the 113 member countries including the US, UK and France in order to bring the climate related security risks within the purview of the UNSC.
  • This resulted in a heated argument involving clash of interests among the member countries with strong opposition from India and Russia.

The need to bring Climate Change within the UNSC mandate: Arguments in Favor

  • The issue of climate change had been discussed at the UNSC for a long period of time witnessing several statements that associated the impact of global warming with conflicts. Such a correlation was inferred by Niger and Ireland who stated that the countries that are more susceptible to climate change are most vulnerable to terror activities.
  • This is why there needs to be a mandate on peacekeeping under the intervention of UNSC
  • The climate related conflicts include arable land, food security, desertification and forced migration.
  • According to a report by the Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 10 out of 21 peacekeeping operations of the United Nations are located in the countries that are highly influenced by climate change.
  • The major and sole advantage of introducing climate related security risks in the UNSC jurisdiction is that the resolutions passed are mandatory and binding on the signatories and they must abide by it.

The Oppositions’ Version : Arguments against

  • Russia and India raised major concerns over the inclusion of climate change within the UNSC mandate despite strong support for the proposal.
  • As an outcome of the 2+2 dialogue that was held in the India – Russia Annual Summit in early December, 2021, India ensured to oppose the interventions and overreach of UNSC on sovereign issues.
  • Therefore India is firm on its decision to disagree with the proposal introduced in the UNSC.

Russia’s Veto:

  • Veto power refers to the power conferred on the permanent members ( China, France, Russia, UK and US) of the UNSC to veto any substantive resolution.
  • Russia has vetoed the proposal to integrate climate related risks within the ambit of the UNSC. There were 12 votes recorded in favor of the proposal, 2 against and an abstention from China.