Climate Change and the UN Security Council
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Climate Change and the UN Security Council

Edited by Shirley V. Scott and Charlotte Ku

In this forward-looking book, the authors consider how the United Nations Security Council could assist in addressing the global security challenges brought about by climate change. Contributing authors contemplate how the UNSC could prepare for this role; progressing the debate from whether and why the council should act on climate insecurity, to how? Scholars, activists, and policy makers will find this book a fertile source of innovative thinking and an invaluable basis on which to develop policy.
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Chapter 12: Conclusions: A climate change role for the Council?

Charlotte Ku and Shirley V. Scott


The UN Security Council was created by states to provide structure and process for collective response to security threats. Since 1945, the UNSC has had to redefine both the nature of the threat and the form of response. As security threats become more global so have the international responses, which now reach more deeply within states to subnational and private units. New tools employed include peacekeeping, international courts and tribunals, and other subsidiary bodies overseeing sanctions and specific thematic areas. Climate security is a global threat that will require the focus and collective response that only the UNSC can presently provide. It will drive the UNSC to additional focus on human security and require attention to its decision-making process to ensure authority and legitimacy. It will require strong consensus among major powers, including the P5 on an appropriate role and resources.

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