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Climate Change and the UN Security Council

Edited by Shirley V. Scott, Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Australia and Charlotte Ku, Associate Dean for Global Programs and Graduate Studies, Texas A&M University, School of Law, US
In this forward-looking book, the authors consider how the United Nations Security Council could assist in addressing the global security challenges brought about by climate change. Contributing authors contemplate how the UNSC could prepare for this role; progressing the debate from whether and why the council should act on climate insecurity, to how? Scholars, activists, and policy makers will find this book a fertile source of innovative thinking and an invaluable basis on which to develop policy.
Extent: c 272 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: March 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78536 463 1
Availability: Not yet published (pre-order)

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  • eISBN: 978 1 78536 464 8

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  • Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
Edited by Shirley V. Scott and Charlotte Ku, this forward-looking book examines the scope and options for the United Nations Security Council to respond to climate insecurity. A cross-disciplinary team of experts addresses the range of political and legal considerations involved, including, the scope for adapting existing Council tools to address the challenge of climate change, the legality and legitimacy of doing so, the attitude of the P5 and EU, and Council action to date.

Specific tools considered include establishing an international court or tribunal, targeted sanctions, peace missions, and ‘legislation’. The starting assumption is that, given the futures projected by climate scientists and the responsibility of the Council for international peace and security, the Council will almost inevitably take its place as a key player in climate governance. Contributors therefore focus on the question of just how the Council will be able to most constructively contribute to effective climate governance and how it can begin to prepare for such a role.

This book will be of great value to scholars investigating the governance of climate change. For activists and government officials the book provides high quality research that can be drawn upon to give background to debate, and inform future policy.
Contributors include: M. Binder, A. Boyle, P.F. Diehl, S. Far, J. Hartmann, M. Heupel, P.J. Keenan, C. Ku, B. Mayer, F. Mégret, M. Orme, C.K. Penny, A. Savaresi, S.V. Scott, F. Sindico, R. Youngs


Francesco Femia, Co-Founder and President, Center for Climate and Security, and Caitlin E. Werrell, Co-Founder and President, Center for Climate and Security

1. The UN Security Council and Global Action on Climate Change
Shirley V. Scott and Charlotte Ku

2. Climate Change as a ‘Threat to International Peace and Security’
Christopher K. Penny

3. Climate Change and Economic Measures: One Assumption and One Scenario Too Many…
Francesco Sindico and Mallory Orme

4. The Creation of a Climate Change Court or Tribunal
Patrick J. Keenan, Shirley V. Scott and Charlotte Ku

5. ‘Climate Migration’ and the Security Council
Frédéric Mégret and Benoît Mayer

6. The United Nations Security Council’s Legislative and Enforcement Powers and Climate Change
Alan Boyle, Jacques Hartmann, and Annalisa Savaresi

7. Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Peace Missions
Paul F. Diehl

8. The EU’s Distinctive Approach to Climate Security
Shahrazad Far and Richard Youngs

9. The UN Security Council’s Role in Developing a Responsibility to Respond to the Climate Change Challenge
Charlotte Ku

10. Contested Legitimacy: The UN Security Council and Climate Change
Martin Binder and Monika Heupel

11. The Attitude of the P5 Towards a Climate Change Response by the Council
Shirley V. Scott

12. Conclusions: A Climate Change Role for the Council?
Charlotte Ku and Shirley V. Scott