Extreme weather has become more frequent, lashing out at poor and rich countries alike, warned UN Secretary General Ban Ki—moon Wednesday as the Security Council debated worldwide climate change impacts.
The debate was held on the same day the UN declared famine in two southern regions in Somalia, affecting a total of 3.7 million people because of continued severe drought. A lack of security is preventing international aid providers from reaching those in need.
“Extreme weather is not only devastating lives, but also the infrastructure, institutions, and budgets — an unholy brew which can create dangerous security vacuums,” Mr. Ban told the council session.
German Ambassador Peter Wittig, whose country held the presidency in July, presided over the debate.
Mr. Ban said extreme weather is affecting people from Pakistan and the Pacific Islands to the United States and Horn of Africa.
Achim Steiner, the head of the UN Environment Programme, told the council that climate change has become a “threat multiplier” that could result in simultaneous and unprecedented threats in places where people settle, grow food, build infrastructure or rely on the ecosystems.
“Uncertainty will continue to define our response to climate change,” Mr. Steiner said, calling for the UN to develop a risk management strategy to deal with its impacts.
Germany has presented a concept paper urging governments to deal with the way climate change has impacted security and resources availability, particularly in small and island countries, which are threatened by sea—level rise.
Keywords: Extreme weather