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Changing Climate, Unchanged Mandate: bric Countries in the UN Security Council

Changing Climate, Unchanged Mandate: bric Countries in the UN Security Council AbstractThe UN Security Council has turned its attention to the link between climate change and security several times. Its members and other UN member states participating in discussions have remained divided over the Council’s engagement. Among vocal opponents are the bric countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. This article examines the argumentation of these countries during seven UN Security Council meetings between 2007 and 2020. The bric countries often concede that climate change is a threat, but they strongly resist the idea that such a threat could be addressed by the Council. I use a Critical Legal Studies approach to analyse how the bric countries bolstered their key argumentation before the Council. I find that the bric countries exploited a ‘background rule’ concerning the unsc mandate and used it to reaffirm the limits on the Council’s action. They were thus able to avoid self-contradiction and strengthen their political position through a legal argument. This complemented other objections they raised against the Council’s involvement: its insufficient expertise, inefficient tools, and the inapplicability of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to its decision-making. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Climate Law Brill

Changing Climate, Unchanged Mandate: bric Countries in the UN Security Council

Climate Law , Volume 11 (1): 36 – Apr 1, 2021

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1878-6553
eISSN
1878-6561
DOI
10.1163/18786561-11010003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe UN Security Council has turned its attention to the link between climate change and security several times. Its members and other UN member states participating in discussions have remained divided over the Council’s engagement. Among vocal opponents are the bric countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. This article examines the argumentation of these countries during seven UN Security Council meetings between 2007 and 2020. The bric countries often concede that climate change is a threat, but they strongly resist the idea that such a threat could be addressed by the Council. I use a Critical Legal Studies approach to analyse how the bric countries bolstered their key argumentation before the Council. I find that the bric countries exploited a ‘background rule’ concerning the unsc mandate and used it to reaffirm the limits on the Council’s action. They were thus able to avoid self-contradiction and strengthen their political position through a legal argument. This complemented other objections they raised against the Council’s involvement: its insufficient expertise, inefficient tools, and the inapplicability of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to its decision-making.

Journal

Climate LawBrill

Published: Apr 1, 2021

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