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COP21 SIDE EVENT: A reality check: climate change and impacts on the ground – 12/6

Day: Sunday, 6 DecemberReality check
Venue: People’s Summit – Climate Forum

The impact of climate change on human rights is a two-fold problem. For one, man-made climate change has significant effects on several human rights, such as the right to life, health, food water and housing, among others. On the other hand, also certain actions to address climate change can directly result in adverse human rights impacts. Experience, especially with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), has shown that while mitigation actions may be well intentioned, in some cases, they have caused harm to the environment and people.

The event “A reality check: climate change and impacts on the ground” was held in the Paris People’s Summit on December 6, to illustrate  this two-fold problem and how it can  be addressed. The event showcased realities from the ground of some of the most marginalized groups to climate change. Speakers reflected on how lessons learnt from climate mitigation projects can inform the design of future climate finance projects and underlined the need for strong human rights protection under the Paris climate agreement.

Initiated by Carbon Market Watch, the event was organised jointly with the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Indian grassroots association Paryavaran Mitra.


  • Juliane Voigt, Policy researcher at Carbon Market Watch, The role of human rights in the Paris climate treaty – Read presentation
  • Mahesh Pandya, Director at Paryavaran Mitra, Is CDM sustainable? – Experiences from Ground – Read presentation
  • Maria Jose Veramendi, Senior Attorney at the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA), Belo Monte Dam: its impact on the Xingu, its people and the planet – Read presentation
  • Katharina Rall, Research Fellow at the Health and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, “There is no time left”: Climate change, environmental threats and human rights in Turkana County, Kenya

Moderator: Abby Rubinson, Independent Consultant

Read full event report here.


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