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The upcoming Paris climate summit could have a crucial impact not only on the environment, but also on the future of human rights.

It is by now a common belief that nowadays climate change may constitute the biggest challenge to the fulfilment of human rights. The work of the UN Human Rights Council and a series of resolution have indeed established the clear realization that climate change seriously affects various internationally-recognised human rights, such as the access to water, the right to the self-determination and to life, and the rights to food, to health, to housing and to a healthy environment. Climate change is also worsening inequalities and injustices, as its effects are most felt among those already in a weaker position.

For this reason, some parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are considering the linking between climate change and human rights, and a growing number of States, experts, NGOs and other bodies are fostering new initiatives to improve integration between the two agendas, with the hope that at the Paris Climate Summit in December a deal considering both the environment and human rights will be signed. In particular, hitherto 45 nations have introduced explicit references to the impact of climate change on human rights in their reports to the Universal Periodic Review, the UN’s peer review process for member states human rights records.

During the Cancun Climate Summit in 2010 countries acknowledged “a range of direct and indirect implications for the effective enjoyment of human rights”, and at the Lima Climate Conference in 2014 all the 76 UN mandated human rights experts urged states to integrate human rights standards into the Paris Agreement. Remarkably, references to human rights can be found in the current negotiating agreement texts for the Paris Summit.

Also, a “Geneva Pledge for Human Rights in Climate Change” has been developed during the Geneva climate talks in February 2015. It aims at addressing climate policy making needs by fostering greater cooperation between climate and human rights experts at the national and international level, and has already been signed by 20 countries.



The gLAWcal Team

LIBEAC project

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

(Source: RTCC)

This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.