Is every country moving forward towards energy transition? What about India’s role as a Climate leader?
Are its meandering ways telling a different story?
Much to the surprise and notice of everyone, India has recently voted against a draft resolution that aimed to securitize Climate Action, at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
But the experts say, it was expected.
India and Russia were the two countries in opposition with this proposition made by Ireland and Nigeria, in order to make the Security Council discuss the impact of climate change on World peace, conflicts and security.
Currently, matters pertaining to Climate change are discussed thoroughly at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
This platform allows more than 190 members to meet multiple times in a year and decide with consensus from all.
India, has stated the reason for its decision to be constriction of powers from a wider franchise to mere five countries holding Veto over all others.
“UNFCCC already offered an “elaborate and equitable architecture” with equal voice for every country and adequate recognition of every country’s “national circumstances”, explained India.
“It (UNFCCC process) addresses both immediate needs of the developing and the commitments of the developed (countries).”
“It seeks a balance between mitigation, adaptation, financing, technology, transfer, capacity building etc. In effect, it takes a holistic view of combating climate change which is equitable and fair”.
“Ironically, many UNSC members are the main contributors of climate change due to historical emissions.”
“If the Security Council indeed takes over the responsibility on this issue, a few states will then have a free hand in deciding on all climate related issues. This is clearly neither desirable nor acceptable.”
On the contrary, the draft resolution’s supporters have indicated this as important tool for the UN field missions involved in maintaining peace and security worldwide and hence the transition required with UNSC.
India also clarified its stand for peace and development in regions affected with terrorism: “viewing conflicts through the prism of climate change is misleading and acts as an oversimplification that could worsen conflicts rather than resolving them’.
We have talked at length about the recent connection climate change has made with Naxalism.
Though terror in every case cannot be attributed to climate change factor but are we sure climate change doesn’t contribute to conditions conducive to the emergence of terrorism?
Climate change and the game of Terror:
The two biggest threats of humanity, Climate change and terrorism, have recently joined hands to inflict greater damage in near future, and its off-shoots have been visible.
This happens because with the advent of climate change, the power gets concentrated in powerful hands and begin the inherent discriminate exploitation of resources.
With strained nature, economy and consequent socio-cultural parameters experience stress as well. The present is beginning to yield the same and hence the need to relate the two.
Regions most vulnerable to climate change begin to suffer from climate change induced poverty, unsatisfactory governance, chaos and terrorist activity.
The point has well been proved by the fact that nearly 8 out of 15 countries most exposed to the existing climate risks, host the United Nations peacekeeping forces.
For instance, Mali in the infamous Sahel region, has given birth to terrorist groups who began exploiting the rooting tensions between herders and farmers.
Young people making up nearly 60 per cent of the population have resorted to criminal activities, including a smuggling of drugs, arms or human trafficking. The clashes and uncertainties have allowed the Boko Haram ideology to prosper in the region.
Similar cases have been profound in expanding terror and cropping vacancies for terrorists to rule elsewhere like in Iraq, Syria etc.
These notorious organizations then begin playing with naturals resources of the region they acquire like Islamic State in Iraq, the Levant (ISIL) or Da’esh have created water shortages and the Taliban in Afghanistan has taken even minerals and electricity under their name.
There have even been sources claiming that terrorism can easily come out of insecurities in Cox Bazar, where Rohingya refugees are kept in Bangladesh, because of the impact of death conditions and eviction they faced, and the unsafe conditions they are livening in.
Just like UNSG Antonio Guterres explains the exacerbating situation with increasing climate temperatures: “We are in a race against the clock. No one is safe from the destructive effects of climate disruption”.
“When the loss of livelihoods leaves populations in despair, the promises of protection, income and justice – behind which terrorists sometimes hide their true designs – become more attractive”.
And not just terror, there will be grave disparities and violence based on gender, race, region, religion etc., any line that an ailing mind can find difference on.
Who knows, with the unpredictability of climate change, several experts have indicated increase in mental disturbances and anxiety with the rise in global temperatures.
Climate change may not be the actual source of evils but have a multiplier effect on even most comprehensive acts in the world.
Addressing it in integrated and timely manner, can help trigger a “virtuous circle of peace, resilience and sustainable development” instead of the probable “vicious and self-reinforcing cycle”.
International community needs to understand this and act cautiously but with greater regards to consensus and inclusive decision making, especially of those states lying at the mercy of climate change.
Creating a ‘climate proof’ and resilient future is the need of the hour. It remains an imperative of the current generation to ensure and handover a safe planet for an upcoming future.