A Safe Climate: Human Rights and Climate Change

Submitted by David Boyd on Wed, 10/16/2019 - 17:21

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment discusses the urgent need for action to ensure a safe climate for humanity. He illustrates the devastating effects of the current global climate emergency on the enjoyment of human rights, and the crucial role for human rights in catalysing action to address climate change.

After clarifying the obligations of States and the responsibilities of businesses, the Special Rapporteur makes practical recommendations with respect to addressing society’s addiction to fossil fuels; accelerating other mitigation actions; enhancing adaptation to protect vulnerable people; ramping up climate finance; financing loss and damage; and empowering United Nations institutions.

The Special Rapporteur concludes that a safe climate is a vital element of the right to a healthy environment and is absolutely essential to human life and well-being. The Special Rapporteur is submitting the present report together with an annex on good practices related to ensuring a safe climate, available on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The good practices demonstrate that effective actions are available to simultaneously address climate change and protect human rights. Drawn from every continent and featuring more than 60 States and a wide range of actors, the good practices are intended to inspire ambitious action to address the global climate emergency.