Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC open debate "Maintenance of international peace and security: Climate and security"

Prime Minister,


The Russian Federation fully shares the international concern over the problem of climate change. According to our estimates, the climate in Russia is getting warmer twice as fast as the global average. At the same time, we become witnesses to increasingly devastating natural phenomena, therefore the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the negative manifestations of climate change is obvious to us.

We welcome the consistent calls of the UN Secretary-General to mobilize political will and resources to make efficient agreements at the climate track. The recent meeting for G20 members and the most vulnerable states that was co-hosted by the Secretary-General and the Prime Minister of the UK gave an opportunity to “compare notes” and have a meaningful exchange of opinions. This will definitely have a positive impact on the preparation for UNFCCC COP26 that will convene in Glasgow. We also commend Secretary-General’s targeted engagement with member states on that matter, that accounts for their national specifics.

On our part, we remain committed to the international obligations in the area of climate. The Government of the Russian Federation takes consecutive steps to reduce the “carbon footprint” of our national economy. Low Emission Strategy for the Socio-Economic Development of the Russian Federation until 2050 is currently being finalized. We pay special attention to reducing methane emissions, and stand ready to cooperate with all interested stakeholders.


The problem of climate change touches upon each of us, therefore it should become a sort of a unifying agenda for the global community. This is the only way to ensure that these issues are resolved effectively for the benefit of all humanity and the generations to come. It is this kind of cooperation that the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement on climate are designed to promote. Corresponding work is underway at the General Assembly, ECOSOC, High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, the Peacebuilding Commission and other specialized formats that address issues of countering the climate change under the UN principle of “division of labor”.


It is more and more often now that we see our colleagues try to incorporate the issue of climate in the SC agenda. Many statements that we heard today addressed this. A question begs itself: is it effective in terms of the tasks we have at hand? Does the Security Council have the tools that would allow to not duplicate the efforts of other UN bodies and, most importantly, to not make things more complicated for them?

As the famous proverb says, “too many cooks spoil the broth”. Let me be frank: we are convinced that insistent attempts to push the climate change issue at all costs into the UNSC agenda as a threat to international peace and security add an absolutely unnecessary political component to a discussion which is already very complex. Such an approach brings a risk of oversimplification, which may end up in elaboration of lopsided and ineffective solutions from the point of view of strengthening the global stability. Perhaps our colleagues just want to increase the profile of the climate discussion by taking it to the Council. But I hope you will agree that inclusion or non-inclusion of a topic in the UNSC agenda must not be indicative of whether this topic is important or not. This is truly so for the climate agenda. Because of its specifics, it will receive no benefit once picked up by the Council. What it will receive is further entanglement and duplication of efforts.

As for the consequences of the climate change, Russia is ready to discuss them in the Council only as part of concrete country- and region-specific situations, backed by scientific data and a comprehensive understanding of each and every case. By the way, such cases are much more numerous than items on the SC agenda. Apart from that, we must not forget that climate is just one of many factors that exacerbate the economic and social situation of people in concrete states.


We believe it counter-productive to include climate components in mandates of peacekeeping and special political missions. Assessment of climate-related risks, corresponding analytical work, and elaboration of response measures must be done at specialized platforms. Peacekeepers do not hold the necessary expertise and toolkit that would make them able to propose any viable solutions in the area of mitigating the climate change. Areas of expertise that have to do with climate require fundamental preparatory work and training. Organizing “qualification courses” for those who specialize in the area of peace and security will not be enough.  Besides, extension of peacekeepers’ mandates may trigger extra administrative and financial expenses and undermine the implementation of Blue Helmets’ primary tasks.

Distinguished colleagues,

To conclude, the Security Council is a very strong, but far not universal instrument in the UN toolkit. If used for purposes other than intended, it can lead to results that would be opposite to our efforts in the area of mitigating the climate change. I kindly ask you to never forget about it and to not diffuse our efforts at this track for the sake of some political motivation.

Thank you.