Climate Change and the UN Security Council


Climate Change and the UN Security Council

9781785364631 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Shirley V. Scott, Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Australia and Charlotte Ku, Professor of Law and Director, Global Programs, Texas A&M University School of Law, US
Publication Date: 2018 ISBN: 978 1 78536 463 1 Extent: 272 pp
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.

Copyright & permissions

Recommend to librarian

Your Details

Privacy Policy

Librarian Details

Download leaflet

Print page

More Information
Critical Acclaim
More Information
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.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book does much to shape understanding of the serious debates being had, and to be had, about global responses to climate change and is worthy of its place in any decent international law, international politics or climate change collection.’
– Gary Wilson, Liverpool Law Review

‘In sum, the book is a remarkable contribution to the debate about the UN Security Council’s potential engagement in global climate governance. It demonstrates the legal authority of the Council, the range of available policy options in the area of climate change, and related legitimacy, representativeness, and effectiveness challenges.’
– Lisa M. Dellmuth, Carbon & Climate Law Review

‘Shirley Scott and Charlotte Ku have assembled a team of longstanding UN observers, primarily from the fields of international law and international relations. The result is a useful and accessible portrait of the Security Council’s powers, tendencies and limitations.''
– Nature Climate Change
Contributors: 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


Caitlin E. Werrell and Francesco Femia

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
Shirley V. Scott, Patrick J. Keenan 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 Role for the Council
Shirley V. Scott

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

eBook for individuals
978 1 78536 464 8
From $40.00
Click here for options
eBook for library purchase
978 1 78536 464 8
View sample chapter and check access on:
eBook options

Available for individuals to buy from these websites

Or recommend to your institution to acquire on Elgaronline
  • Buy as part of an eBook subject collection - flexible options available
  • Downloading and printing allowed
  • No limits on concurrent user access, ideal for course use
My Cart