Climate change is a human rights crisis according to the UN Human Rights Council

July 19, 2021 Monday


MANILA, 19 July 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) lauded the adoption of a Resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the importance of addressing the adverse consequences of climate change, which in effect curtails human rights.
 
According to the Resolution, solutions are urgently needed, including the possible creation of a new special procedure addressing the adverse impacts of climate change on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights, especially for the people most vulnerable to climate change in developing countries like the Philippines.
 
The CCC cited scientific findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), another UN body, that the average global temperature has risen by more than 1°C since the industrial age and we are already experiencing unprecedented extreme weather events. The world cannot afford to go beyond the 1.5°C threshold of survival, and to do so must cut planet-warming carbon emissions by half by year 2030. Any higher degree of warming would be disastrous for most of natural systems, threatening our access to quality food, water, shelter, livelihood, and the right to life itself.
 
According to the CCC, the Resolution places significant focus on the right of all persons to ecological security and to live without fear of their homes, livelihoods, or cultures being threatened with destruction because of the climate crisis. All persons have the right to life, and that includes the right to survive and thrive as human beings.
 
In terms of the total global carbon emissions that are warming the planet, the Philippines contributes only one-third of one percent, yet Filipinos bear the brunt of extreme weather events as millions get displaced, thousands of lives and livelihoods are lost, and billions worth of agriculture and infrastructure are damaged annually because of climate change.
 
The climate body hailed the leadership of the Philippines in pursuing climate change as an essential aspect in discussions on human rights by the international community. The Human Rights Council also decided to incorporate into its annual programme of work, beginning in 2023, discussions on different specific themes on the adverse impacts of climate change on human rights.