The politicization of the climate issue has indeed commenced

Mashari Althaydi
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The anticipated scenario in which the environment protection issue and the shift to alternative energy turn into a tool for political pressure has indeed started, as manifested in the proposal of a perilous draft resolution at the UN Security Council, which was, however, blocked this time by a clear Russian veto.

On Monday, Russia vetoed a draft Security Council resolution that considers climate change “a dire threat” to peace, security, and stability across the globe.

Russia and India rejected the proposed resolution, whose initial draft was prepared by Ireland and Niger, while China abstained from voting. On the other side, the United States and its camp approved the draft resolution, which entailed a request to the UN Secretary General “to integrate climate-related security risks as a central component of United Nations conflict-prevention strategies.”

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Meanwhile, Russia, China, and India sent parallel messages to Member States expressing their objections to the draft resolution, on the grounds that “there is no clear scientific data that equates climate change to security risks.” Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said: “The international community is deeply divided on the climate issue, as was clear at COP26 in Glasgow; and now, we are witnessing an attempt to disregard the opinions of 80 Member States that disapproved the draft resolution.”

Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan at the Elysee Palace on July 4, 1975. (AP)
Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan at the Elysee Palace on July 4, 1975. (AP)

In the same vein, I would like to remind the esteemed readers of an article I had written here on 30 June, under the title: “Righteousness and falsehood in the environment protection issue.”

It is clear that the environmental issue is no longer confined to its own boundaries, but has rather become “an international political parameter that measures the legitimacy of states and –more dangerously– controls global economies, or at least this is what the West is planning for at the moment.”

The protection of the environment is not a leftist cause. In the United States, for instance, the staunch rightist former President Teddy Roosevelt was a pioneer of major US national reserves. In the same vein, in our Arab region, personalities such as former Saudi King Khalid bin Abdulaziz and the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, are considered icons of environment and wildlife protection. Nowadays, under the leadership of His Highness King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is leading major initiatives that aim to protect land and maritime wildlife and expand green areas not only in Saudi Arabia, but across the entire Middle East as well.

In an article published in this paper earlier this year, Iraqi oil expert Walid Khaddouri wondered how the West plans to achieve zero-carbon emissions in 30 years, with the International Energy Agency recommending an “immediate” halt of investments in the oil industry. In this context, Khaddouri asked: “What will be the cost of alternative sustainable energy projects, in light of the pilot projects currently being implemented mostly in industrialized countries? The total cost would amount to trillions of dollars, which evokes the question of whether third world countries could afford such expenditures!”

Here, we pose other related questions: Whence will minerals and raw materials needed for alternative energy and electric cars be provided? How are we going to supply major power generation plants to run billions of engines worldwide?

To sum up, all human beings love Mother Nature, for she is a mother to every inhabitant of this planet, not just to some exclusive peoples. However, despite seemingly aiming for the proper aspirations, it looks like statements and policies on the environment are becoming ill-intended instead.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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