Human Rights Law Requires States khổng lồ Pursue the Highest Possible Ambition in Emissions Cuts


Five UN human rights treaty bodies issue a joint statement on human rights và climate change.

NEW YORK (21 October 2022) – Human-induced climate change is the largest, most pervasive threat to lớn the natural environment và societies the world has ever experienced, and the poorest countries are paying the heaviest price, a UN expert said.

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“Throughout the world, human rights are being negatively impacted & violated as a consequence of climate change. This includes the right lớn life, health, food, development, self-determination, water & sanitation, work, adequate housing & freedom from violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking và slavery,” said Ian Fry, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion & protection of human rights in the context of climate change, in a report khổng lồ the General Assembly today.

“There is an enormous injustice being manifested by developed economies against the poorest và least able to cope. Inaction by developed economies & major corporations to lớn take responsibility for drastically reducing their greenhouse gas emissions has led lớn demands for ‘climate reparations’ for losses incurred. The G20 members for instance, tài khoản for 78 per cent of emissions over the last decade.”

The Special Rapporteur’s report focuses on the topics of mitigation action, loss và damage, access & inclusion, and the protection of climate rights defenders.

“The overall effect of inadequate actions lớn reduce greenhouse gas emissions is creating a human rights catastrophe, & the costs of these climate change related disasters are enormous,” Fry said.

Those most affected & suffering the greatest losses are the least able khổng lồ participate in current decision-making & more must be done to ensure they have a say in their future, including children and youth, women, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples & minorities.

Fry also raised deep concern about climate rights defenders. “As groups & communities become increasingly frustrated with the lack of action on climate change, they have turned to protests và public interventions lớn bear witnesses to lớn the climate emergency. Sadly, we are seeing many climate rights defenders persecuted by governments & security organisations. Some defenders have even been killed.”

The expert emphasised that indigenous peoples, in particular, have been the target of serious attacks và human rights abuses.

Fry presented several recommendations to lớn the General Assembly, including a proposed High-Level Mitigation Commitment forum to be held in 2023, the establishment of a consultative group of finance experts lớn define the modalities và rules for the operation of a Loss and Damage Finance Facility, and a climate change redress and grievance mechanism lớn allow vulnerable communities lớn seek recourse for damages incurred.

Mr. Ian Fry is the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion và protection of human rights in the context of climate change. He was appointed by the Human Rights Council at its 49th session in March 2022 & started his mandate on 1 May 2022. Mr. Fry is an international environmental law & policy expert. His focus has primarily focussed on mitigation policies & loss & damage associated the Paris Agreement, Kyoto Protocol and related instruments. He worked for the Tuvalu government for over 21 years và was appointed as their Ambassador for Climate Change and Environment 2015-2019.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest toàn thân of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council"s independent fact-finding & monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures" experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff và do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization & serve in their individual capacity.

For inquiries and media requests, please contact: Christel Mobech (+41 79 444 4113 /mobech )

For media inquiries related khổng lồ other UN independent experts please tương tác Renato Rosario De Souza renato.rosariodesouza

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Key facts

Climate change affects the social và environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea & heat stress.The direct damage costs lớn health (i.e. Excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture và water & sanitation), is estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion/year by 2030.Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able khổng lồ cope without assistance to lớn prepare và respond.Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food & energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution.

Climate change - the biggest health threat facing humanity

Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity, và health professionals worldwide are already responding lớn the health harms caused by this unfolding crisis.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that to lớn avert catastrophic health impacts & prevent millions of climate change-related deaths, the world must limit temperature rise lớn 1.5°C. Past emissions have already made a certain màn chơi of global temperature rise và other changes lớn the climate inevitable. Global heating of even 1.5°C is not considered safe, however; every additional tenth of a degree of warming will take a serious toll on people’s lives và health.

While no one is safe from these risks, the people chiaseyhoc.comse health is being harmed first và worst by the climate crisis are the people contribute least lớn its causes, & are least able lớn protect themselves và their families against it - people in low-income and disadvantaged countries and communities.

The climate crisis threatens khổng lồ undo the last fifty years of progress in development, global health, & poverty reduction, & to further widen existing health inequalities between & within populations. It severely jeopardizes the realization of universal health coverage (UHC) in various ways – including by compounding the existing burden of disease và by exacerbating existing barriers to accessing health services, often at the times when they are most needed. Over 930 million people - around 12% of the world’s population - spend at least 10% of their household budget lớn pay for health care. With the poorest people largely uninsured, health shocks and stresses already currently push around 100 million people into poverty every year, with the impacts of climate change worsening this trend.

Climate-sensitive health risks

Climate change is already impacting health in a myriad of ways, including by leading khổng lồ death và illness from increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, storms và floods, the disruption of food systems, increases in zoonoses và food-, water- & vector-borne diseases, & mental health issues. Furthermore, climate change is undermining many of the social determinants for good health, such as livelihoods, equality và access to health care & social support structures. These climate-sensitive health risks are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable và disadvantaged, including women, children, ethnic minorities, poor communities, migrants or displaced persons, older populations, & those with underlying health conditions.


Figure: An overview of climate-sensitive health risks, their exposure pathways & vulnerability factors. Climate change impacts health both directly & indirectly, và is strongly mediated by environmental, social and public health determinants.

Although it is unequivocal that climate change affects human health, it remains challenging to lớn accurately estimate the scale và impact of many climate-sensitive health risks. However, scientific advances progressively allow us to attribute an increase in morbidity và mortality to human-induced warming, & more accurately determine the risks and scale of these health threats.

In the short- to lớn medium-term, the health impacts of climate change will be determined mainly by the vulnerability of populations, their resilience khổng lồ the current rate of climate change and the extent và pace of adaptation. In the longer-term, the effects will increasingly depend on the extent lớn which transformational action is taken now khổng lồ reduce emissions & avoid the breaching of dangerous temperature thresholds và potential irreversible tipping points.