July 2020

Mark Dempsey13th April 20211min

In July 2020, the German Presidency of the Security Council held the fifth high-level open debate on climate and security. The debate largely highlighted that climate change is a threat-multiplier, with most statements focusing on adherence to the Paris Agreement and other international commitments, as well as the need for a climate-sensitive response in peacekeeping. The geographical focus on the security implications of climate change was on the Sahel region and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, delivered a speech on behalf of Ireland as an incoming elected member of the UNSC. He emphasised that the link between climate change and security is already being factored into the planning of the Irish defence forces. In his speech, he echoed calls for the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative on Climate and Security and provide contextual reporting, and for the UNSC to enhance the inclusion of climate-related security risks into its peacekeeping mandates.