Security Council Future

SC 2031: Addressing the Global Cooling Event

Background:
In the past year, temperatures have plunged worldwide, with some areas being affected more than others. The world has been preparing for climate change, and countries have embarked on national and international projects to mitigate both it and its effects. However, the plans which were drawn up were created to combat the heating of the planet – not the cooling.

In the years past, climate refugees had been fleeing desertification that was intensifying in regions close to the equator, namely in areas like Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and India. People in other regions like Southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific island nations have also been experiencing mass displacement. The UN’s resources have already been stretched thin in an effort to accommodate the displaced, more than 75 million worldwide (both internally and externally displaced), now, however, there is a new threat rising for the global food supply as well as supply chains – rapid cooling.

The Cooling makes it harder to grow traditional crops, and many countries have lost out on a great deal of their food production over the past year as crops failed due to the rapid shift in temperature – with many freezing at night in places where such a thing had not been seen in some years. Furthermore, the busy and critical shipping lanes of the Arctic that had opened up just years ago are now more challenging to navigate, traffic is reduced and shipments take a longer time to cross. Ports which were recently opened due to their warm-water classification now freeze over in winter yet again.

Besides the direct problems that come from such an event, there are also social factors to consider. Uncertainty is the bane of stability, and rumours of insecurity – particularly food insecurity – travels fast. People await the actions of the states around them with great anxiety and even greater anticipation. None more so than the many millions of refugees relying on national and international systems for their very sustenance.

The cause of the Cooling is still unknown, though there have been a number of theories presented: the disruption of ocean currents, the recent spike in major volcanic eruptions, and a grand solar minimum have all been cited as scientific explanations, however, even altogether, this cannot explain the dramatic drop in temperature we are witnessing.

It remains to be seen whether the cooling is a temporary phenomenon, or whether it is a more permanent state, such as the Little Ice Age. There is potential for a humanitarian crisis like nothing ever seen before, with untold millions already uprooted from their homes, and now additional uncertainty created for the wealthiest countries which were previously least impacted.

As the Security Council, it is your duty to prevent catastrophe and to aim to coordinate the response of the international community. Your prime overall directive is to prevent the massive loss of life that could result if the worst impulses of people and governments are not curtailed.

Aspects of the issue to consider

  • Creating international stability – ensuring the peace is kept
  • Resource and responsibility distribution – namely securing food stability for all people
  • Creating plans for either scenario – short term or long term cooling
    Anticipating migration flows

Resources for further reading:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/01/how-the-little-ice-age-changed-history
https://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2015/12/56ec1ebde/2015-year-europes-refugee-crisis.html
https://theconversation.com/how-climate-change-is-driving-emigration-from-central-america-121525