Thank you, President. We are grateful to the United Arab Emirates for focusing the Council on this subject today. I also thank USG Lacroix, Former President Santos and Ms Kadry for their important briefings.
There has been some progress since the UK first brought climate security to the Council in 2007. The implications of climate change are increasingly integrated into our work on conflict, peace and security.
Still, the physical impacts and cascading risks of climate change are being felt across the world, and are exacerbating pre-existing fragilities. The link to international peace and security is clear, and has been set out by ministers from Africa and the Middle East today – regions that form the majority of our work in this Council
Urgent, coordinated global action is needed now to address threats. We see the following as priorities:
First, is the need to increase and improve access to finance for countries most affected by climate change, as highlighted so powerfully by Secretary Kerry just now. We are working to reform the international financial system and to scale up public and private finance for climate resilience and sustainable peace, including for countries on this Council’s agenda. Regional risk pools founded by the UK have transferred $1 billion of risk from Africa, with Somalia receiving a first payout from drought insurance this year. In July, we will convene events on climate finance in the UK and New York including for countries with humanitarian needs to contribute to this theme at COP28.
Second, we need to ensure drivers of conflict are considered within climate interventions. Conflict-sensitive climate adaptation needs to be part of the solution for destabilised countries. And women, girls and local actors need to be meaningfully included in formal systems and negotiations.
Finally, climate and conflict risk reduction and early responses should be integrated into humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programmes, in line with the Sendai Framework and the UN Secretary General’s Early Warning for All initiative. Reducing risk and impact of disasters is critical to ensuring continued progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – especially SDG13 for climate and SDG16 for conflict.
The UN system is well-positioned to coordinate climate, development, peacebuilding and security efforts, including through existing CPS Advisers in UN Missions. This Council should support this by helping to drive a more coherent and integrated response to stabilisation, peacebuilding and climate-resilient development across UN activities.