Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : The undeniable link between climate, nature, peace and security in Africa [October 2022]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 12 October 2022.

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council meeting on climate and security.

Thank you Mr. President, and let me thank all our briefers for their presentations today.

The United Kingdom sees an undeniable link between climate, nature, peace and security in Africa – and around the world. We were the first to bring climate security to this Council in 2007, and we hosted the first leader level debate in 2019. So we welcome continued African leadership on this issue under Gabon’s presidency, and we regret that Niger and Ireland’s resolution last December was blocked by a single veto.

As the Secretary-General has advised this Council many times before, the impacts of climate change multiply the threats faced by vulnerable populations.

We are seeing this play out in the drought in East Africa, and changes in rainfall across the Sahel. Climate change is exacerbating pre-existing drivers of insecurity, pushing these regions into humanitarian crisis, and increased competition for water and land, biodiversity loss, and migration are risking conflict, food insecurity – and lives.

The Security Council can help ensure the UN system has the mandates and capacities to integrate climate into its analysis and response to the drivers of conflict and fragility.

President, the UK is clear that we must accelerate climate action, deliver the Glasgow Climate Pact agreed last year, and meet financing commitments to build resilience. We are working to achieve this in a number of ways:

The United Kingdom made 10 commitments to Africa at COP26 – and has started delivering on these.

In January, we announced $23 million to support 1 million people in drought and flood-affected areas in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan.

Under the ‘African Union Green Recovery Action Plan’, the UK has funded experts in the AU Commission and enhanced capacity to implement climate action plans across the continent.

The UK has committed £100 million to the ‘Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance’, part of which established a new Climate Finance Unit in Uganda’s Ministry of Finance.

And we have committed to doubling our International Climate Finance to at least £11.6 billion up to 2026, balanced between mitigation and adaptation.

We are also taking responsibility for our country’s impact on climate change, as the first major economy to commit to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Mr. President, collectively, we cannot allow any roll back from the commitments made in the Paris Agreement or the Glasgow Pact.

Instead, we should redouble our efforts to progress these agreements into action, at COP27 next month and the CBD COP15 in November. Our commitment to climate action is the basis for a peaceful and secure world.