In a UN Security Council meeting, John Kerry reiterated the United States’ commitment to altering climate change. Kerry said that the Pentagon has described the crisis as a “threat multiplier.” Kerry is the climate envoy for the United States.

Source: US Mission to the United Nations [Press]/YouTube

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His relayed concerns stand in contrast to China, India, and Russia’s skepticism on climate change and global security. Not taking action on climate change is “marching forward to what is almost tantamount to a mutual suicide pact”, said Kerry. “We bury our heads in the sand at our own peril. It’s urgent to treat the climate crisis as the urgent security threat that it is.”

Russia, India, and China voiced the opinion that climate change should be dealt with in other forums, not the security council. “But even though climate change has been repeatedly called ‘an existential threat’, we honestly have yet as a world to respond with the urgency required,” said Kerry. He called the climate situation “indisputably a Security Council issue” after other countries questioned its significance at a security council meeting. “In fact, it is among the most complex and compelling security issues that I think we’ve ever faced,” Kerry argued.

Russia was most vocal in its opposition to climate change being discussed in the meeting. “We agree that climate change issues can exacerbate conflict. But are they really the root cause of these conflicts? There are serious doubts about this,” said Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia.

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