Green Helmets

U.N. enviro-enforcers


In July, at the prompting of Germany, the United Nations Security Council debated how the U.N. should address the effects of climate change on global peace and security. Specifically, the Security Council discussed how the U.N. might help maintain peace in the face of sea level rise, food insecurity, and climate refugees. One suggestion: green-helmeted climate change peacekeepers similar to the blue-helmeted troops the U.N. sends to war zones around the world. 

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice argued that the Security Council "has an essential responsibility to address the clear-cut peace and security implications of a changing climate." Russia's envoy, Alexander Pankin, countered that involving the Security Council in "the issue of climate change will not bring any added value whatsoever and will merely lead to further increased politicization of this issue."

In a July 19 Huffington Post article, German Ambassador Peter Wittig had a different question: Would the work of green helmets be "very different from the tasks the blue helmets already perform today?" The answer, he implied, was no.