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12 Jan 2024

Global Business Initiative on Human Rights

New Global Business Initiative on Human Rights resource provides insights from company practice on integrating human rights into climate action

"Integrating human rights into company climate action: Insights from business practitioners", January 2024

This resource has been developed to support companies seeking to approach their climate action with respect for human rights.

Climate action describes activities and decisions taken to respond to climate change and its impacts. It includes the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or climate mitigation, and efforts to adapt to the current and future impacts of the climate crisis, or climate adaptation. Globally, a growing number of companies are accelerating their climate action to meet targets to reduce GHG emissions.

This resource offers guidance to business practitioners on how companies can identify and address adverse human rights risks and impacts in their climate action – in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) – and by doing so, ensure they respect human rights and contribute to a just transition.

Recent developments in law and policy are driving a rapid transition, whilst also highlighting the imperative to view climate and human rights holistically. The European Union (EU) Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive will require large EU companies to develop climate transition plans. The agreement reached at COP28 calls for a transition away from fossil fuels in a just, orderly, and equitable manner.

As companies prioritise developing and implementing their strategies to combat climate change and its impacts, there are growing expectations that their climate action should be rights respecting. This document provides examples and insights for business practitioners on:

  • Mapping the intersections between climate action and human rights, and how companies can better identify and understand those connections as they seek to mitigate climate change.
  • Developing approaches and governance structures that integrate human rights into climate-related decision-making processes.
  • Raising internal awareness about the intersections between climate action and human rights to build capacity and prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts.
  • Understanding and addressing human rights impacts through examples of company practice in relation to the transition to renewable energy, scaling up circular economy, moving to regenerative agriculture, and implementing nature-based solutions