In February 2021, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, addressed the Security Council on behalf of Ireland in a briefing on climate and security, for the first time as an elected member, during the UK Presidency. The debate focused on conflict risks, peacebuilding approaches and ways to support adaptation and resilience in climate-vulnerable contexts. UNSC members were briefed by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and British naturalist, Sir David Attenborough. Notably, this meeting marked the return of a more engaged United States, which was represented by the new US climate envoy, John Kerry.
Minister Coveney highlighted how the impacts of climate change can undermine international peace and security and the importance of Security Council engagement on the matter to achieve a more peaceful world. Moreover, he outlined the importance of the climate and security agenda to Ireland’s tenure on the Security Council:
“We are chairing the Informal Expert Group of Member States on this topic, together with Niger. This group provides a vital platform for sharing information on the why and how of climate action in the context of building and sustaining peace.”