India thwarted developed countries' attempt to present climate change as something that it is not-- a global security issue. India voted against the rich nations at the United Nations Security Council, saying that it is a move to evade their responsibility as historical polluters to provide support to developing countries to combat fallouts of climate change.
In a vote held on December 13, India along with Russia voted against UN Security Council draft resolution that linked climate change with global security challenges.
This draft, that India voted against, said that the impacts of climate change can threaten global security. It can "lead…to social tensions…, exacerbating, prolonging, or contributing to the risk of future conflicts and instability and posing a key risk to global peace, security, and stability," the UNSC draft resolution said.
"Why is it that one needs a UNSC resolution to take action on climate change when we have commitment made under UNFCCC towards concrete climate action? The honest answer is that there is no real requirement for this resolution, except for the purpose of bringing climate change under the ambit of the UNSC," said India.
TS Tirumurti, India's permanent representative to the UN, told the Third World Network (TWN), an international research and advocacy organisation, that this is another tactic of the developed countries' to not deliver on their promises.
“Motivated by a desire to evade responsibility in the appropriate forum and divert the world’s attention from an unwillingness to deliver where it counts.”TS Tirumurti, Indian permanent representative to the UN
Rich Nations are Trying to Evade What they Owe Us
Developed nations are called historical polluters because their industrial revolution has led the world to the brink of climate change. Their responsibility in combating climate change is more than the rest of the world.
They are supposed to not only act themselves, but also help developing countries by lending financial and technological support. They have made legally binding promises to lend this support. The most important one made under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Despite this, developed countries keep finding loopholes that allow them to somehow not deliver on these promises. Citing climate change and its fallouts as a potential threat to global security is yet another way of doing this.
'What New Will this Draft Achieve that UNFCCC Can't'?
India reminded the forum of the promises that these developed countries had made under the UNFCCC. India said that this resolution is unnecessary because there is nothing that can be done under this resolution that can't be achieved under the UNFCCC process.
India said the developed countries want climate change to come under UNSC so that "decisions can then be taken without involvement of most developing countries and without recognizing consensus. And all this can be done in the name of preserving international peace and security."
“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,” said India.
"This is a step backward from our collective resolve to combat climate change"
India said that this draft resolution 'sends a wrong message that instead of holding developed countries responsible, we are willing to be divided and side-tracked under the guise of security.'
Reiterating the demand PM Narendra Modi had made from the developing countries at COP 26 in Glasgow to pay one trillion dollars as climate finance, India said, "This is particularly important to recognize because today’s attempt to link climate with security really seeks to obfuscate lack of progress on critical issues under the UNFCCC process.”
Russia's stand was also similar, they opposed the resolution and said, "It is even clearer that domination of the Council by Western countries, attempting to evade responsibility for their actions, is an anachronism.”
China abstained from voting on the resolution saying that securitisation of climate issues should be avoided.