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UK puts climate before U.N., China objects to session

UK puts climate before U.N., China objects to session

Britain and China faced off on Tuesday in the first-ever U.N. Security Council debate on climate change, with Beijing saying the 15-member body had no competence in dealing with global warming.
But British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, who chaired the meeting, argued that the potential for climate change to cause wars had to move from the fringes of the debate to the Security Council, the most powerful U.N. body.
She noted that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, whose economy depends on hydropower from a reservoir depleted by drought, had called climate change "an act of aggression by the rich against the poor."
"He is one of the first leaders to see this problem in security terms. He will not be the last," she said in the day-long debate with 52 countries participating.
But China's deputy ambassador, Liu Zhenmin, was blunt in rejecting the session: "The developing countries believe that the Security Council has neither the professional competence in handling climate change - nor is it the right decision-making place for extensive participation leading up to widely acceptable proposals."
No resolution is expected and Russia, China, Qatar, Indonesia and South Africa, among others, also warned that the council, whose mandate is only peace and security, was not the place to take concrete action.
So did Pakistan on behalf of 130 developing nations, although many, such as Peru and Panama and small island states, agreed with Britain.


Updated : 2021-10-22 09:30 GMT+08:00