the friend online
07 November 2008

Analysis

Climate change and human rights - preview

Jennifer Rosenberg analyses a recent meeting organised by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Climate change is happening faster than anyone expected
  • It threatens a plethora of human rights including the rights to food, water, health, self determination and even to life
  • It also leads to increases in the number of refugees and displaced communities
  • A human rights perspective on climate change could illuminate how environmental change concretely affects individuals and human rights law could also help to translate moral international obligations into legal ones


  • Longstanding human rights problems such as poverty and limited resources are exacerbated by climate change, causing ‘additional stress on an already stressed system’
  • The poorest people in the poorest countries will be affected first; the most vulnerable within those groups – indigenous populations, minorities, women and children – will suffer further still and are already feeling the effects
  • The human rights community could guide a framework for action, ensuring a prompt and coordinated response to the most urgent needs

  • Jennifer Rosenberg

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