Climate change a more serious threat than Islamic radicalism: Nasheed
New Delhi, Oct. 23 : Describing climate change as one of the most serious security challenges the world is going to face, the President of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, today called for urgent United Nations reforms and making India and Brazil as permanent members of the Security Council.
Delivering an address on `Environment and Conflict Resolution' at Observer Research Foundation in Delhi, Mr. Nasheed said climate change is a "more serious threat to the international order than Islamic radicalism, piracy or sharing of resources."
The Maldives President said when the world wants India and other developing countries "to do this and that to fight climate change, they should be made permanent members of the UN Security Council".
Asking India to do everything possible to save frontline state like Maldives, the President said "we are asking nothing short of saving the world. I would ask India to do it, instead of asking anyone else to do it."
The President argued that climate change is a real threat. "If we believe in science, and two plus two is four, the climate change is happening and it is a great threat to the world".
Regretting that negotiations are not proceeding the way it should have, the Maldives President said "we don't want Copenhagen to come out with an empty piece of paper. We want a solid piece of paper, with the guarantee for our security and the security of the world."
He said if one thinks that the issue of "climate change is effecting only Maldives today, remember it is going to happen to you tomorrow. If you think this is only a Maldives issue, you cannot be more wrong than this," the President warned.
He said climate change will alter the nature of the planet, reducing its resources and leading to more and more conflicts. This will lead to huge refugee problems, he warned.
The President said he agreed fully with the Indian stand on climate change, but he appealed to India to make use of renewable energy to provide energy to over 300 million people without electricity.
"Why you want to go to yesterday's diesel when you can go for tomorrow's renewable energy and new technology?," he asked the conference chaired by Mr. Shyam Saran, Prime Minister's Envoy on Climate Change.
"The world is on the threshold of new technology and you will be in the forefront if you use them," he said, advocating smaller, local units to provide cheaper energy instead of huge plants set up by multinationals. "I am sure India can succeed through many ways," he added.
Mr. Shyam Saran assured the President that India is doing everything possible to curb carbon emissions, drawing his attention to the plan of the government to use more and more renewable source of energy.
Mr. Shyam Saran said now negotiations are being carried out on what he described as "adversarial mode and they ended up on least common denominator.
Mr. Sunjoy Joshi, Distinguished Fellow, ORF, said while it would be simplistic to blame the environmental changes and climate for the ills of the world including radicalism, terror, piracy, insurgencies and dictatorships, climate change if not addressed holistically will surely aid in the increasing the frequency and extremities of these hateful agendas.
"Climate Change has helped us all understand that security and prosperity cannot be nation centric and must be at the level of the individual and hence we must now revisit security in terms of human security that would include not only the physical elements but secure his social and development aspirations and needs," Mr. Joshi said in his welcome address.
Mr. Joshi said "any agreement that the world reaches at Copenhagen or thereafter must necessarily strive towards converging levels of Human Development and Human Security and cannot serve to maintain status quo". (ANI)