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OHCHR Calls for a Human Rights Approach to Tackling Climate Change

A human rights approach to tackling climate change

December 2008: As the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has stressed that a wide range of universally recognized rights – such as the right to food, to adequate housing and water, and to life – are under threat due to climate change. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called on the Poznań Climate Change Conference to take into account the human rights impacts of climate change, and to protect the most vulnerable people.

Earlier this year, the Human Rights Council mandated the OHCHR to

undertake a study on the interlinkages between human rights and climate

change. This study emphasizes the need for a human rights-based

approach to provide the legal rationale to climate change policies and

programmes currently under negotiation, indicating that human

well-being and security in developed and developing countries are under

risk. The study also gives special consideration to the poorest and

most marginalized groups, as age, gender, and socioeconomic status can

reduce or increase vulnerability. The Human Rights Council will

consider the study in March 2009 and make it available for the round of

climate negotiations scheduled to take place in Copenhagen, in December

2009.  [OHCHR Press Release]