India-Russia opposed to UNSC climate change resolution – UPSC Prelims

What was the resolution about?
  • The resolution was sponsored by Ireland and Niger.
  • The resolution sought to create a formal space in the UN Security Council for discussions on climate change and its implications on international security.
  • It has also called for the UN Secretary-General to submit a report on security aspects of climate change in the next two years and appoint a special envoy for climate security.
  • Further, it asked UN field missions to regularly report on climate change assessments in their areas of operation and take the help of climate experts in carrying out their routine functions.
  • India and Russia rejected this resolution.
Which is the current UN Agency to discuss climate change-related issues?
  • The UN already has a specialised agency named UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC for discussing all matters related to climate change.
  • The parties to the UNFCCC meet several times every year, including at a two-week year-ending conference like the one at Glasgow, to work on a global approach to combat climate change.
  • On the other hand, the UN Security Council(UNSC) exists primarily to prevent conflicts and maintain global peace.
  • However, UNSC and its secretariat have hosted a few debates and informal discussions on the subject of Climate Change in the past.
Why has India and Russia opposed the resolution?
  • India: India said that UNFCCC must remain the appropriate forum for addressing all climate change-related issues and claim the Security Council does not have the expertise to do so. They have also pointed out that unlike UNFCCC, where decisions are taken by consensus, the UNSC would enable climate change decision-making by a handful of developed countries.
  • Russia: It has opposed the resolution on the grounds that involving UNSC would politicise the issue of climate change and warrant unnecessary intervention by western countries in domestic issues.