Written by Euronews
In the morning of April 6, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) gathered frantically to amend resolutions to be put on the floor for debate. The committee is discussing on the topic of climate refugees, more specifically, if there is such a thing as climate refugees and what to do with those displaced people.
The Rising Tide resolution stands on the floor amidst debate. Led by the US, the Rising Tide has variety of sponsors from Sweden to Venezuela. It calls for adopting the term Environmental Migrant to describe those forcibly displaced by climate change. It would also create a Scientific Substantiation Committee on Climate Change (SSCCC) that will track the effects of climate change by region. Clause 7 has the most support as it states that the UNHCR would support renewable energy sector by providing tax breaks to alternative energy companies.
Even China supports this resolution who has been stalling America’s agenda in the committee.
“It has all the same values we have,” said the delegate from China, as she read over the eight page resolution. When asked why the US suddenly changed their stance on climate change when they pulled out from the Paris Climate Agreement she said, “They did pull out but it doesn’t go into effect until 2020.”
While that is true, President Trump has been critical of scientific consensus on climate change. He once called climate change a hoax from the Chinese and then further reiterated that “I have a natural instinct for science.”
Rising Tide resolution fundamentally goes against America’s stance on climate change and refugees. The resolution even calls for developed nations to give funding towards developing nations to smooth their transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
President Trump’s disdain towards renewable energy is well documented. On April 2, he even claimed that noises from wind turbines causes cancer.
An anonymous source told this reporter that, “Some delegates are losing sight,” and instead, “focusing on pushing their own agendas.”
This agenda seems to be all about building consensus, even when it goes against their country policies. A delegate from an Oceanic country said, “The US is not very liberal. They’re trying to build consensus.”
Tanzania delegate pointed out to the report that giving tax breaks to energy companies are not in the jurisdiction of UNHCR. “They call for taxes to be collected but offer no way to do this on a global scale, since the UN cannot collect taxes,” he further went onto say that, “Even if it did, why would the US support it?”
Despite these inconsistencies, the US gained wide support for Rising Tide from nations such as Venezuela and Cuba. Before a delegate from an Oceanic country went back to the committee room the delegate commented, “It’s very weird. Interesting group of people are on that bloc.”