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AFP
February 22, 2021

UN to debate global warming

World

AFP
February 22, 2021

The UN Security Council will hold a summit of world leaders on Tuesday to debate climate change’s implications for world peace, an issue on which its 15 members have divergent opinions.

The session, called by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and conducted by video-conference, comes just days after the United States under President Joe Biden formally rejoined the Paris climate change accord.

Johnson, whose country now holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency, will address the forum, as will US climate czar John Kerry, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the prime ministers of Ireland, Vietnam, Norway and other countries, diplomats say.

The meeting will serve as a test for US-China relations, one UN ambassador said on condition of anonymity, alluding to one of the few issues where the two big powers might agree. But this is not a given.

“We should watch how the Chinese position themselves with the Americans,” this ambassador said. Traditionally, the ambassador said, “you know that the Russians and the Chinese will immediately say (climate change has) ‘nothing to do’ with the council’s issues.”

Today, however, “the Chinese are more liable to be slightly open to that discussion,” which “leaves the Russians pretty much on their own.” Russia does not see climate change as a broad issue for the Security Council to address. Moscow prefers dealing with climate questions on a case-by-case basis, diplomats told AFP. Tuesday’s meeting “will be focused on the security aspects of climate change,” a second ambassador said, also on condition of anonymity.