Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UN Environmental Peacekeeping Force to Combat Climate Change?

Via the Guardian:
A special meeting of the United Nations security council is due to consider whether to expand its mission to keep the peace in an era of climate change.
There has been talk ... of a new environmental peacekeeping force – green helmets – which could step into conflicts caused by shrinking resources.
In an official "Concept Note" ahead of the meeting, Germany said the security council needed to draw up scenarios for dealing with the affects of extreme temperatures and rising seas. How would the UN deal with climate refugees? How would it prevent conflicts in those parts of Africa and Asia which could face food shortages?

We are unlikely to see any green helmets in the foreseeable future. The UN should keep its focus on improving its poor record on plain vanilla conflicts before getting into more difficult and heavily contested policy areas. Doing something more than spouting empty words in Syria, Libya and a host of African nations would be a good start.