Climatizing the UN Security Council

Lucile Maertens

Since 2007, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has debated the security implications of climate change on several occasions. This article addresses these debates by exploring two interrelated questions: What drives the continuous efforts to place climate change on the UNSC’s agenda and to what extent do the UNSC’s debates illustrate an ongoing process of climatization? To answer these, the article draws on the concept of climatization, which captures the process through which domains of international politics are framed through a climate lens and transformed as a result of this translation. It suggests that climate change has become a dominant framing and an inescapable topic of international relations and that the UNSC debates follow a logic of expansion of climate politics by securing a steady climate agenda, attributing responsibility to the Council in the climate crisis, involving climate actors and advocating for climate-oriented policies to maintain international security.