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Environmental Security And The Un Security Council

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the role of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in cases concerning environmental security. We use the term environment in a broad sense, including access to natural resources, but not including fight over territory, i.e. disagreements on where to draw international borders. The main issue to be addressed concerns the criteria for UNSC decisions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Article 39 lists three alternative criteria, each of which may trigger the UNSCs powers under Chapter VII: there must be a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression. A crucial difference between the two latter and the first criterion is that the latter refer to situations where a breach of the peace or an act of aggression already exists, while the former only requires a threat. The UNSCs competence to address environmental issues is discussed from both perspectives.

Keywords: environmental security; international peace; UN Security Council (UNSC)



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