Germany calls for Security Council to tackle climate change

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Germany, which will join the UN Security Council in January, believes the body should start dealing with climate change as a potential global threat, its UN ambassador said Monday.

Peter Wittig told an audience at a think tank in Berlin that Germany shared the view of the more than 40 island states represented at the United Nations that global warming was an urgent security issue.

"We are of the opinion that it would be worth the effort to consider strategically -- in the Security Council as well -- which effects climate change could have on the security situation in the broadest sense including defence assistance, resource assistance, the disappearance of entire island states, the rising of sea levels," he said.

"In New York this is a current, and for some countries, existential problem and we would like to take up these issues and bring them before the Security Council."

He said however that the drive to have the Security Council tackle potential disasters caused by global warming would be a "challenge" because some of the permanent members did not see it as part of the body's remit.

Germany will join the Security Council from January for two years as one of 10 non-permanent members. Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States comprise the permanent members.

In May, a coalition of Pacific small island developing states at the UN called on the Security Council to immediately address the security threats posed by climate change.

Small island states are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, which scientists project could increase by a metre (3.3 feet) or more by the year 2100.

More than 190 countries meeting in Cancun, Mexico agreed on Saturday to set up a new fund to manage billions of dollars in aid to poor nations that experts say are already feeling the effects of climate change.

© 2010 AFP

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