Human rights belong at the heart of climate change debate, urges Türk — Global Issues

The highest authority wrote a open letter calling for human rights to be at the heart of efforts to tackle climate change.

“The outcome of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP27 – which begins this weekend in Egypt, has important implications for the effective enjoyment of human rights worldwide,” he said. world, not only in the years to come, but now.”

The planet is uninhabitable

“People are losing their homes, their livelihoods and their lives. With the current trajectory of temperature rise, many parts of the world will be uninhabitable within the lifespan of our children, with unimaginable consequences.”

Mr. Türk said the injustice caused by global warming was dire: “Look at Pakistan, where recent floods have affected more than 30 million people. It will take years to rebuild and even begin to understand the fallout from this single disaster. “

He warned that such disasters could become “a recurring nightmare for people around the world if we do not take strong rights-based actions to respond to climate change.” , minimize its impact and address the human suffering it has caused”.

It is important, he said, that this year’s United Nations Climate Conference, COP27, hosted by Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea, is taking place on a continent where millions of people on the front lines of climate change are only be a victim, not a contributor to emissions.

“The people of Africa are among those who suffer the most,” he said.

Principles of Paris

The Paris Agreement The High Commissioner said, clarifying the need for rights-based climate action, and calling on all States to respect, promote and consider their respective human rights obligations in doing so.

He highlighted the recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that participatory, rights-based climate action leads to more efficient, legal and sustainable outcomes for people and the planet.

“To tackle the greatest challenge of the century, a society-wide approach is needed,” said Türk. “It is therefore essential that everyone – including civil society representatives – can meaningfully participate at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. Decisions on climate change, including at this meeting, need to be transparent, inclusive and accountable, especially to those most affected.”

Rights dimension for COP27

In the letter, the High Commissioner outlined several key steps that all countries should take to reduce risks to human rights posed by a warming world:

  • Raise climate ambitions to protect human rights
  • Ensure meaningful and effective participation
  • Addressing the harms of human rights caused by climate change
  • Mobilizing resources for rights-based climate action
  • Ensuring the central role of human rights in climate decision-making


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