Time to act – recognising the right to a healthy environment

by Marcos A. Orellana, Director of the Environment and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch and Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Global recognition of the right to a healthy environment is long overdue. There are opportunities emerging to do so, and this would give crucial support to threatened environmental activists. In March 2016, armed intruders battered down the door of the house where Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres, 44, was staying and killed her. By then, Cáceres, co-founder of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, …

Climate Vulnerable Forum delegation meeting and thematic debate spotlights impact of climate change on human rights

by Geneva Press, URG News

14 June 2017  On the margins of the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a delegation meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) focused on the growing recognition of the impact of climate change on the enjoyment of a wide spectrum of human rights.    The thematic debate, included Ambassadors and other senior officials of the CVF members, and was chaired by H.E. …

COP22 begins in Marrakech – UN leaders call for human rights principles to guide implementation of Paris Agreement

by H.E. Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez, Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group, Olivia Bebe and the URG team Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

7th November 2016, Geneva The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) begins today in Marrakech, Morocco. After the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change on 4 November this year, the Marrakech meeting will also represent the first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris …

Human rights, climate change and cross-border displacement: the role of the international human rights community in contributing to effective and just solutions

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Jane McAdam, University of New South Wales Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Policy reports

Human rights, climate change and cross-border displacement: the role of the international human rights community in contributing to effective and just solutions

The links between climate change and human rights are more widely accepted than ever before. The Human Rights Council has adopted a series of resolutions calling attention to the effects of climate change on the full enjoyment of human rights, and the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC has also recognised that ‘the adverse effects of climate change have …

Success or failure at COP21 in Paris will have major consequences for human rights and for human displacement – new think tank report

by the URG team Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Press

In December this year, world governments will meet in Paris to agree a new binding treaty to halt and ultimately reserve global climate change. COP21 is one of the most important environmental conferences ever to be held, but also one of the most important human rights gatherings of the past half-century. The ability of States to reach – or not …

International human rights community urges heightened ambition at COP21

by the URG team Press

URG-CVF-Costa Rica-UN Special Procedures event on human rights and climate change in conjunction with UNFCCC SB42 in Bonn Wednesday 10th June 2015, Geneva On 10th June the Universal Rights Group, together with the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Government of Costa Rica organised an event to present and build on a Joint Statement (Friday 5 June) by UN Special Procedures …

Human rights focus can strengthen Paris climate deal

by Manuel González-Sanz, Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group, Cecilia Rebong, Mary Robinson and the URG team Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Climate change was top of the agenda last month at the UN’s leading human rights body, writes Manuel González-Sanz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Cecilia Rebong, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Philippines to the United Nations at Geneva, Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Marc Limon, Executive Director of Universal Rights Group. Following great efforts by a …

The Council’s full-day panel debate on climate change should be a springboard for further and deeper action in the run-up to COP21 in Paris

by Professor John H. Knox, former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The 28th session of the Human Rights Council marks the end of the initial three-year term of the mandate of the  Independent Expert on human rights and the environment . Over the past year, in my capacity as the Independent Expert, I have focused on identifying, promoting and exchanging views on good practices relating to the use of human rights obligations to inform, support and strengthen environmental policymaking. …

URG Insights :

Human rights, climate change and displacement

Climate change has enormous implications for the enjoyment of a wide range of internationally protected human rights. This is especially the case for people in already vulnerable situations. Over the past 8 years, the international community has taken a number of steps to leverage human rights law and principles to strengthen international responses to global warming. One of the most …

Climate change and human rights in 2015: what is the role of the international human rights community in contributing to an effective and just Paris agreement?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Kelsey Skaggs Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

At the end of 2015, climate policymakers will meet in Paris for the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention Framework on Climate Change (COP21). There, it is hoped, countries will sign a universal, legally binding agreement to tackle global warming. It is well understood that a new, ambitious accord on climate change is vital for the planet …