UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon said here on Wednesday that climate change comprises a very credible threat to peace and security around the world.
"We must make no mistake," said Ban. "The facts are clear: climate change is real; it is accelerating in a dangerous manner; and it not only exacerbates threats to international peace and security, it is a threat to international peace and security." Ban's statements came at a Security Council meeting on the impact of climate change on global peace and security.
"The members of this council bear a unique responsibility to mobilize national and international action to confront the very real threat of climate change and the specific threats to international peace and security which derive from it," said Ban.
The secretary-general said that there should be no doubt that the world faces an urgent problem in the form of climate change.
"Extreme weather events continue to grow more frequent and intense in rich and poor countries alike, not only devastating lives, but also infrastructure, institutions, and budgets -- and unholy brew which can create dangerous security vacuums," he said.
He said that there are already examples of places where resources are running scarce due to these extreme weather events and conditions.
"Around the world, hundreds of millions of people are in danger of going short of food and water, undermining the most essential foundations of local, national, and global stability," he added.
Ban said that the agreements made at UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summits in Copenhagen and Cancun in 2010 and 2011, respectively, should be put into action.
The Cancun meeting failed to produce a binding climate treaty with targets to cut emissions, but did result in other commitments.
"Now we need accelerated operationalization of all the agreements made at Cancun, including on protecting forests, adaptation and technology," Ban said. "Climate finance, the sine qua non for progress, must move from a conceptual discussion to concrete delivery of 'fast start' financing and agreement on sources of long-term financing."
The next major climate change meeting is scheduled for Nov. 28 to Dec. 9 in Durban, South Africa.
"We need ambitious targets that ensure that any increase in global average temperature remains below 2 degrees centigrade," Ban said. "Durban must provide a clear step forward on mitigation commitments and actions by all parties, according to their responsibilities and capabilities."
Ban noted that in the midst of debate and negotiation globally, the Security Council "can play a vital role" in clarifying the linkages between peace, security, and climate change. (Xinhua)