Calling it divisive, India votes against UNSC draft resolution on climate change

Published on Dec 13, 2021 11:05 PM IST

The climate change draft resolution was written by UNSC members Ireland and Niger and backed by 12 of 15 members. India, China and Russia opposed and voted against it.

In this November 28, 2019 photo, smoke and steam rise from a coal processing plant in Hejin in central China’s Shanxi Province. India, China and Russia opposed and voted against the adoption of a draft resolution by the UN Security Council on climate change. (AP)
In this November 28, 2019 photo, smoke and steam rise from a coal processing plant in Hejin in central China’s Shanxi Province. India, China and Russia opposed and voted against the adoption of a draft resolution by the UN Security Council on climate change. (AP)
ByYashwant Raj I Edited by Amit Chanda

India on Monday voted against the adoption of a draft resolution by the UN Security Council (UNSC) on climate change, sharply criticising it as an attempt “to undermine the hard-won consensus which we reached in Glasgow” and would “sow the seeds of discord among the larger UN membership”.

The draft resolution, which was written by UNSC members Ireland and Niger (penholders in this UNSC on climate change) and backed by 12 of the body’s 15 members, sought appropriate climate change discussions portraying climate as an issue that threatens international peace and security.

India, China and Russia opposed and voted against it.

“Climate change decisions are sought to be taken out of the wider international community represented in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and given instead to the Security Council,” TS Tirumurti, Indian permanent representative to the UN, said explaining India’s opposition to the draft.

He added: “Ironically, many of the UNSC members are the main contributors of climate change due to historical emissions. If the Security Council indeed takes over the responsibility on this issue, a few states will then have a free-hand in deciding on all climate-related issues. This is clearly neither desirable nor acceptable.”

India is “second to none” when it comes to climate action and climate justice but the UN Security Council was not the platform for them.

“Today’s UNSC Resolution attempts to undermine the hard-won consensus which we reached in Glasgow,” Tirumurti said, referring to the last UN climate change meet. “This resolution would only sow the seeds of discord among the larger UN membership.”

The Indian ambassador to the UN went on to say that the draft resolution “sends a wrong message to the developing countries that instead of addressing their concerns and holding developed countries responsible for meeting their commitments under the UNFCCC, we are willing to be divided and side-tracked under the guise of security”.

The way forward instead was to provide affordable access to climate finance and technologies. “Developed countries must provide climate finance of $1 trillion at the earliest. It is necessary that climate finance be tracked with the same diligence as climate mitigation. And the reality, Mr President, is that the developed countries have fallen well short of their promises.”

Developed countries had committed decades ago to contribute to a climate fund of $100 billion every year to support climate action in developing countries and they have not yet met the target - the latest available data for 2018 is $79 billion.

“This is particularly important to recognise because today’s attempt to link climate with security really seeks to obfuscate lack of progress on critical issues under the UNFCCC process,” said Tirumurti.

The ambassador listed out India’s commitment as laid out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Glasgow meet: India will take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030; it will meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030; it will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now till 2030; cut carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45%; and achieve Net Zero goal by 2070.

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