SC: Climate Change and Terrorism

Statement by Permanent Representative Ambassador Mona Juul in the UN Security Council meeting on Security in the Context of Terrorism and Climate Change, 9 December 2021.

First, let me acknowledge Niger’s leadership on the issue of climate change and security during your Council term. It has certainly helped move the agenda, and you have our full support.

I also thank the briefers for sharing your valuable insights on this complex topic of climate change, and terrorism. The interlinkages between these two issues- that by themselves do not receive enough attention.

Climate change exacerbates vulnerabilities throughout the world. This dynamic could explain why many climate-vulnerable countries are also dealing with terrorist insurgencies. For example, in Mali and Somalia. However- as with all climate and security issues- interlinkages are complicated, and highly context specific.

Climate change can accelerate the same underlying drivers, as those identified as drivers of terrorism: It drives displacement, weakens governance and fuels political and social instability. It drives food insecurity and hunger, competition over resources, and increases tension among communities; and it undermines livelihoods and exacerbates inequality.

Combined, these factors can create fertile ground for radicalisation, spur recruitment to armed groups, and can hinder return of populations that were forced to migrate. The underlying factor is fragility. Climate change undermines the ability of communities to cope with crises. And many of the communities hardest hit by both climate change and conflict, are already the least equipped to deal with their impacts.

The amplifying effect of conflict and climate change also highlights the need for protection of civilians- especially in situations of displacement and hunger.


Let me underline that the climate security agenda is at its heart a preventive agenda. It aims for inclusion of climate risks in our analysis and responses, which can enhance our peacebuilding and peacekeeping efforts. We therefore emphasise that climate risk assessment and management need to be mainstreamed, and operationalised, in the mandates of relevant peace operations by this Council.


While every situation is complex and context-specific, we believe that successfully fighting climate change, and preventing and countering terrorism, both depend on good governance, and reducing vulnerabilities. We need to meaningfully include all affected stakeholders in our response, including women, youth, civil society, and the private sector. We must strengthen partnerships with national and regional actors, especially the African Union, and encourage a stronger approach by local, national, regional, and international organisations through the transparent exchange of information, and forward-thinking analysis.

We also need to increase the capacity of the UN’s climate and security work, especially in the field. And best practices and other experiences need to be brought back to the Council. Norway will provide dedicated support to this, and we encourage others to do the same.


Applying a holistic, analytic, perspective will also strengthen our response to terrorism, as it will focus us on the underlying drivers of radicalisation, and strengthen efforts to prevent violent extremism. Where vulnerabilities overlap, solutions tend to overlap as well. When it comes to climate change, there are no hard security solutions.

Our common goal should be for: Our peace efforts to be climate-sensitive; Our climate action to be conflict-sensitive; And our peacebuilding to be “climate proof”. For this to happen, we need a coordinated approach, by the UN and this Council. This is why we fully support a resolution on climate and security. Climate action depends on concerted and coordinated multilateral cooperation.

With its responsibility to maintain international peace and security, we believe the UN Security Council has a pivotal role to play in these efforts.

Thank you.