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Human rights accountability of climate action


Not only man-made climate change, but also certain actions to address climate change can directly result in adverse impacts on human rights. While well intentioned, certain climate mitigation actions implemented under the UNFCCC have caused harm to the environment and people—even infringing on rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, housing, and culture, among others.

HR infografic


To promote climate change mitigation that does not harm human rights, the Paris agreement should:

  • State in the operative section (Art. 2), Parties’ commitment to respect, protect, and fulfill their
    human rights obligations in all climate change-related actions.
  • Establish an institutional safeguard system under the UNFCCC, including a safeguard system as
    well as a robust grievance mechanism and monitoring system (Art.3ter).

We recommend the following language to be incorporated in the Paris climate treaty, Art. 2

“while ensuring the respect, protection, promotion and fulfillment of human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples; gender equality and the full and equal participation of women; intergenerational equity; a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs; food security; and the integrity and resilience of natural ecosystems.”

Read policy brief here

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