CONNECT WITH US:
Find us on Facebook
The State Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are actively involved in negotiations around the Climate Change Convention principles, which will be concluded with an adoption of a new legal instrument in Paris in December 2015.
An open letter from Special Procedures mandate-holder of the Human Rights Council to the participants in the last month’s meeting in Bonn urged the State Parties to the UNFCCC ‘to recognise the adverse effects of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights, and to adopt urgent and ambitious mitigation and adaptation measures to prevent further harm’. The Special Procedures are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective.
The letter highlights the fact that climate change affects adversely a wide range of human rights, such as right of life and health, access to safe drinking water, housing and sanitation. The 2009 report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) revealed that 98% of the people affected by climate disasters live in developing countries. The UN Human Rights Council has repeatedly pointed out that the negative effects of climate change are most acutely felt by the most vulnerable segments of the population, such as those living in extreme poverty, migrants, women and children, people with disabilities, older persons.
the negative effects of climate change are most acutely felt by the most vulnerable segments of the population
Besides taking care to anticipate, prevent and remedy the negative effects of climate change on these groups of people, the States are urged to address this issue while ensuring their actions are in agreement with all other human rights obligations. Active participation by those most affected by climate change is needed not only in decision-making but also in the implementations of the measures taken to address it. The letter further insists that the measures of the State Parties should not stop at their borders but need to involve global cooperation, highlighted in a number of international treaties and human rights documents, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The next UN Climate Change Conference will be held in Lima, Peru, from 1 to 12 December 2014.
(Photo © IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation)
Blagovesta Troeva works at the Department of English at New Bulgarian University, Sofia. She obtained her first Master’s degree in British and American Studies at Sofia University, Bulgaria. While her career develops in the field of foreign language teaching, she also has profound interests in human rights, anti-discrimination, inclusion and learning difficulties. She has completed the Erasmus Mundus Special and Inclusive Education – a joined Master’s programme of the University of Roehampton, London, Oslo University, and Charles University, Prague.