I diritti umani devono essere al centro dell’azione per affrontare il cambiamento climatico, esorta Türk

GENEVA (2 November 2022) – It is no exaggeration to say that our right to life is being threatened by insufficient action in the face of the climate emergency, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned on Wednesday, as he issued an open letter calling for human rights to be at the heart of efforts to tackle climate change. “The outcome of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference – COP27 – starting this weekend in Egypt is critical for people’s effective enjoyment of human rights around the world, not just in years to come but now. People are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives. Given the current trajectory of temperature increases, many parts of the world will be uninhabitable within our children’s lifetimes, with unimaginable consequences,” Türk said. “The injustice wrought by climate change is catastrophic,” the UN Human Rights Chief stressed. “Look at Pakistan, where the recent flooding affected more than 30 million people. It will take years to rebuild and to even begin to understand the fallout from this single disaster.” Türk continued: “Such disasters are destined to become a recurring nightmare for people across the world if we do not take dramatic, rights-based action to respond to climate change, minimise its impacts, and address the human suffering it has already caused.” “COP27 is taking place on a continent whose people have contributed very little to climate change, yet the people of Africa are among those suffering the greatest consequences,” he said. The Paris Agreement makes the need for rights-based climate action clear, calling for all States to respect, promote, and consider their respective human rights obligations when doing so. Türk highlighted the recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that rights-based, participatory climate action leads to more effective, legitimate, and sustainable outcomes for people and the planet. “To address the biggest challenge of the century, there needs to be a whole-of-society approach,” the High Commissioner said.   “It is therefore essential that everyone, including civil society representatives, is able to participate meaningfully at the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. Decisions about climate change, including at this meeting, need to be transparent, inclusive and accountable, particularly for those most affected.” In his letter, the High Commissioner urges States to seize the opportunity of COP27 and take the following steps:

  • Enhance climate ambition to protect human rights
  • Guarantee meaningful and effective participation
  • Address the human rights harms caused by climate change
  • Mobilize resources for rights-based climate action
  • Ensure the centrality of human rights in climate decision-making