United Nations Climate change and Human Rights: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York City, US on 23 September 2019 ,UN Climate Action Summit 2019 with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
The theme of the UN ‘Climate Action Summit 2019 will be “A Race We Can Win, A Race We Must Win”.
The connection between climate change and human right:
Climate change is inducing not only ecological adjustments but is also impacting the social, economic, political, cultural and legal aspects of societies around the world. It is not only having a good impact on the environments we live in but also on respect for human rights globally.
It is a reality and can seriously harm the future development of our economies, societies, and ecosystems worldwide, according to this year’s scientific report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The human impact of climate change can also threat to a wide range of universally recognized fundamental rights, such as the rights to life, food, adequate housing, health, and water
Climate change is not only an environmental issue but one of the greatest human rights challenge facing our generation. Rising seas threaten the residents of small island nations.
Many effects are destroying the culture of indigenous and other communities around the world.
The UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet highlighted the impact climate change is having on insecurity around the world after Amazon forest Fier. She cited a UN estimate that 40% of civil wars over the past six decades have been linked to environmental degradation.
Climate change has serious impacts on human rights, the responses taken to address climate change have a direct and indirect impact on human rights.
Climate Change and Human Rights is a conceptual and legal framework under which international human rights and their relationship to global warming.
It has been employed by governments, United Nations organizations, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, human rights and environmental advocates, and academics to guide national and international policy on climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Human rights and climate change analysis focuses on the anticipated consequences to humans associated with global environmental phenomena including sea-level rise, desertification, temperature increases, extreme weather events, taken by governments that may involve human rights or related legal protections.
UN Climate Action Summit 2019
UN Climate Action Summit 2019 will be held on 23 September 2019 at New York City, US to fulfill the demand of the Paris Agreement with the theme “A Race We Can Win, A Race We Must Win ”.
The Paris Agreement, as adopted on 12 December 2015 at the Conference of the Parties, is the most important indication of increasing awareness towards the relationship between climate change and human rights. The Paris Agreement is the first climate agreement to recognize the relevance of human rights.
In 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held at Paris.
In preparation for the Summit, nine coalitions have been established in order to ensure transformative outcomes, according to a briefing for the Member States.
The coalitions focus on the following action areas:
1) social and political drivers of change;
2) transition to renewable energy;
4) infrastructure, cities, and local action;
5) nature-based solutions;
6) resilience and adaptation;
8) finance and carbon pricing; and
9) youth and citizen mobilization.
- The Summit will be preceded by a series of pre-Summit events.
- A Youth Climate Summit will take place on Saturday, 21 September2019, co-organized by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the Envoy of the Secretary-General on Youth.
- The nine multi-stakeholder coalitions will present their work in parallel Summit events On 21 and 22 September, co-organized with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.
- The multi-stakeholder coalitions will then present to the Secretary-General a synthesis of their work in a meeting to be held on the afternoon of 22 September.
- Developments among countries, companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Climate change will equally affect the right to life through an increase in hunger and malnutrition and related disorder impacting child growth and development, respiratory morbidity and ground-level ozone. Rising sea levels is one of the flow-on effects of climate change, resulting from warming water and melting ice sheets. so it is very important to all person take responsibility for climate change.
Most international statements on human rights and climate change have emphasized the potential adverse impacts of climate change on the rights to life, food, water, health, housing, development, and self-determination. These rights are enumerated in the core conventions of international human rights law, though not all HRC members or UNFCCC parties are signatories of these conventions.
Right to life
The right to life is protected by Article 6 of the ICCPR where every human being has the inherent right to life. The right to life is inextricably linked to the measure of the fulfillment of other rights.
There are both projected and observed effects that climate change will have on the right to life. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fourth assessment report projected an increase in people suffering from death and injury occurring from an increase in floods, storms, heatwaves, fires, and droughts.
Climate change will equally affect the right to life through an increase in hunger and malnutrition and related disorder impacting child growth and development, respiratory morbidity and ground-level ozone.
Right to food
The Paris Agreement recognizes the fundamental priority of ensuring food security and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Article 2 calls for adaption to the adverse impacts of climate change and the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that will not threaten food production.
The IPCC fourth assessment report projects that food production will increase in the mid to high latitudes with a temperature increase of between 1° and 3 °C, however at lower latitudes crop productivity is set to decrease which increases the risk of food insecurity in poorer regions of the world.
The United Nations Development Programme estimates an additional 600 million people will face malnutrition due to climate change. This is likely to have a particularly devastating effect on Sub-Saharan Africa.
Right to water
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) notes that the right to water is not only an essential condition to survival, but also that it is inextricably linked with other rights, such as; housing, attainable standard of health, an adequate standard of living, and right to food.
The Stern Review states that people will feel the effects of climate change the most strongly through changes in patterns of water distribution around the globe. Those areas that are already experiencing dry conditions will experience a further decrease in water availability, with several (but not all) climate models predicting up to a 30% decrease in annual run-off in the Mediterranean Basin, parts of southern Africa and South America for a 2 °C global temperature rise, and 40 – 50 per cent for 4 °C rise.
The IPCC fifth assessment report states that freshwater-related risks increase significantly with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, with climate change over the 21st century projected to reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions.
Right to health
Article 12 of the ICESCR identifies the “right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Climate change is going to amplify health disparities between the rich and poor in different parts of the world.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that since 1970, climate change is responsible for 150,000 deaths every year through increasing incidence in the spread of diarrhea, malaria, and malnutrition predominantly in Africa and other developing regions. Just a 1 °C increase in global temperature from pre-industrial levels could double the annual deaths from climate change (according to WHO).
OHCHR’s Key Messages on Human Rights and Climate Change
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)’s Key Messages on Human Rights and Climate Change highlights the essential obligations and responsibilities of States and other duty-bearers (including businesses) and their implications for climate change-related agreements, policies, and actions.
In order to foster policy coherence and help ensure that climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts are adequate, sufficiently ambitious, non-discriminatory and otherwise compliant with human rights obligations, the following considerations should be reflected in all climate action.
- To mitigate climate change and to prevent its negative human rights impacts
- To ensure that all persons have the necessary capacity to adapt to climate change
- To ensure accountability and effective remedy for human rights harms caused by climate change
- To mobilize maximum available resources for sustainable, human rights-based development
- International cooperation
- To ensure equity in climate action
- To guarantee that everyone enjoys the benefits of science and its applications
- To protect human rights from business harms
- To guarantee equality and non-discrimination
- To ensure meaningful and informed participation
official website – www: https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/
Any sustainable solution to climate change must take into account its human impact and the needs of all communities in all countries.
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