Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Climate change is the biggest threat facing the world, and yesterday’s United Nations Security Council meeting was focused on the topic. United States climate envoy John Kerry, who participated in the virtual meeting, warned that ignoring the crisis and its threats to global security would mean “marching forward to what is almost tantamount to a mutual suicide pact.” The international body has been discussing the threat of climate change for more than a decade, but yesterday’s meeting was specifically focused on climate risks. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who chaired the meeting also called for immediate action, saying “Whether you like it or not, it is a matter of when, not if, your country and your people will have to deal with the security impacts of climate change.”
Why this Matters: Global food security, poverty rates, and public health are all negatively impacted by climate change. These destabilizing forces are already driving people to migrate and shifting power balances on the international stage. For the U.N. specifically, 80% of its peace-keeping personnel are based in countries most impacted by climate change. The Security Council can impose sanctions and authorize peacekeeping missions, and it could put those diplomatic tools to use holding polluting nations accountable and supporting countries most immediately impacted by the climate crisis. It’s good that the Senate yesterday confirmed U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, so that the U.S. can be fully engaged there.
Words of warning from Sir David Attenborough
Even though yesterday’s meeting was held online, the U.K. was still its official chair. (The Council presidency rotates through the 15 member countries, and the U.K. is currently presiding.) It is fitting that the U.K. chaired because it is set to host the next UN climate meeting in Glasgow, Scottland later this year. The renowned British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough spoke at the start of the meeting, delivering a sober warning:
“If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature, and ocean food chains, and if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down.”
However, he wasn’t entirely downbeat: he sees “grounds for hope” in the COP26 conference, new technology, and public support for change.
And a welcome from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
At the first bilateral meeting between Canada and the U.S., Trudeau thanked President Biden for his climate commitment, especially in comparison to the Trump administration.
“U.S. leadership has been sorely missed over the … past years,” he said. “And I have to say, as we are preparing the joint rollout and communique from this one, it’s nice when the Americans aren’t pulling out all references to climate change and instead adding them in. So we’re really excited to be working with you on that.”
By WW0 Staff For the United States, the post-Trump, pre-COP26 road to Glasgow has been paved with ambition and humility. In a major speech, the President’s Envoy, John Kerry, previewed the results of his climate diplomacy before heading into two weeks of intense deliberations of world leaders. Speaking at the London School of Economics — […]
Next week, the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow will draw hundreds of world leaders to Glasgow to determine the path forward five years after the Paris Climate Agreement (for a primer, read this) as new science underscores the urgency. The conference aims to squeeze countries to strengthen the commitments they’ve made towards securing global net-zero […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In a report released last week, the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed that existing risks and security challenges in the US are being made worse due to “increasing temperatures; changing precipitation patterns; and more frequent, intense, and unpredictable extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Now, the Pentagon is […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.