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Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s UN ambassador. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Russia on Monday blocked a UN Security Council draft resolution that moved to define climate change as a threat to international peace, AP reports.

Why it matters: The proposal, co-sponsored by Ireland and Niger, would have called for factoring information on climate-related security implications into plans "regarding conflicts, peacekeeping efforts and political decisions," per AP.

  • While 12 of the 15-member council voted in favor of the measure, veto-wielding Russia's negative vote blocked the measure.
  • American Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized Russia's move to stop the measure, saying the country "has let the world down, and there is no justification for taking this action."

The backdrop: Earlier this year, the Biden administration released a sweeping set of assessments on climate change's threat to national security and its role in fueling migration.

  • The assessments outlined several main risks to U.S. national security interests through 2040, including geopolitical tension as countries address climate change and its effects.
  • The security council has discussed climate-related security implications since 2007, according to AP, and the General Assembly declared itself "deeply concerned" about the issue in a 2009 resolution.

What they're saying: "The proposed document was coercing the Council to take a one-dimensional approach to conflicts and threats to international peace and security," Russia's UN Mission said in a statement.

  • "It was a generic proposal to establish this automatic link while neglecting all other aspects of situations in countries in conflict or countries lagging behind in their socio-economic development."

Go deeper

Biden boxed in on Ukraine

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration is pushing to get Congress, Europe and Ukraine on the same page as it tries to deter Russia from invading Ukraine — all while knowing that the decisive factor will ultimately be the whims of Vladimir Putin.

Why it matters: Officials from virtually all sides are warning that the risk of a large-scale, conventional war on the European continent is greater than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Few agree on how to stop it.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine mandate after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks announced in a memo to employees Tuesday that it has dropped plans to implement a vaccine mandate for all U.S. workers, AP reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

1 hour ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

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