hide message

Welcome to the Resource Centre

We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

Both companies and impacted communities thank us for the resources and support we provide.

This is only possible because of your support. Please make a donation today.

Thank you,
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

Donate now hide message

Calls to focus on human rights in govt. & company actions

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Article
3 December 2015

Press Conference: Maintaining Human Rights Language in the 'Purpose Paragraph'

Author: WEDO

…[K]ey representatives, including WEDO’s Bridget Burns…called for negotiators to protect human rights language in the critical purpose paragraph. In an unprecedented process, five UNFCCC recognized constituencies…and faith-based, environmental and climate justice organizations, came together to develop textual language that would be at the heart of the Paris Accord. The proposed language is below: This Agreement shall be implemented on the basis of equity and science, in [full] accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities …while also ensuring…the respect, protection, promotion and fulfillment of human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples; gender equality and the full and equal participation of women; intergenerational equity; a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs; and food security. To date, the purpose paragraph (Art 2.2) is highly contentious in the negotiations…Read Bridget’s full remarks here.

Read the full post here

Article
3 December 2015

The Right(s) Call

Author: ECO

ECO has enjoyed hearing Parties’ visions for the new agreement. Especially those that highlighted the need for an agreement that supports human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples. ECO loved hearing from Parties who said that a Paris agreement will only be successful if it’s rooted in gender equality and intergenerational equity, delivering food security, ecosystem integrity and a just transition with decent jobs…But ECO is disappointed that other countries do not want to be champions for human rights, and have expressed the opinion that human rights must remain non-operative….ECO doesn’t want to believe that the EU is not strongly committed to the principles of human rights. But so far they have shied away from expressing unequivocal support for operative references…As a key player in this discussion, surely the EU will not want to go down as a fence sitter when the fate of such crucial principles is being decided…

Read the full post here

Article
2 December 2015

"What has climate change got to do with human rights?" Amnesty Intl. explains

Author: Savio Carvalho, Amnesty Intl.

What has climate change got to do with human rights?

Extreme weather-related disasters and rising seas will destroy homes and ruin people’s ability to earn a living. What’s more, unless emissions are reduced significantly, around 600 million people are likely to experience drought and famine as a result of climate change. So you can see there’s a direct link between climate change and human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and housing.

How are women affected by the changing climate?

Across the world, women form the majority of self-employed, small-scale farmers, so droughts, floods and crop failures will hit them first and hardest. They’re also more likely to take on the burden of collecting water, so will be acutely affected by severe water shortages. 

What does it mean for Indigenous Peoples?

Indigenous Peoples are often at the frontline of global warming because of their dependence on the environment. Many live in fragile ecosystems that are particularly sensitive to changes in climate. This threatens their cultural identity, which is closely linked to their traditional land and livelihoods. 

Will climate change mean more refugees?

As famines, droughts and natural disasters become more frequent, so the numbers of people on the move across borders will increase. While not all of these people will meet the legal definition of “refugees”, they should still be entitled to support from the countries most responsible for climate change.

Will things like rising temperatures and sea levels lead to more wars?

Quite possibly. We do know that climate change will exacerbate well-known causes of war, such as competition over natural resources. And this will increase the risk of violent conflict in the future. 

What should governments do?

They must do all they can to reduce carbon emissions, including phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels. They must also help people adapt to climate change, and provide compensation, for example to those who have lost their homes because of rising sea levels.

What is Amnesty doing?

Together with partners, we're pressing governments and institutions like the UN to take concrete and urgent actions on climate change. This isn’t about charity or aid, it’s about human rights and justice. 

Read the full post here

Article
2 December 2015

World’s richest 10% produce half of carbon emissions while poorest 3.5 billion account for just a tenth

Author: Oxfam

The poorest half of the world’s population…is responsible for just 10 percent of carbon emissions, despite being the most threatened by…severe weather shocks linked to climate change…The Oxfam report, “Extreme Carbon Inequality,” provides new estimates of the lifestyle consumption emissions of rich and poor citizens in different countries…The report…makes clear the extent of this inequality in emissions responsibility – globally, within and between countries…According to the report, the only people who benefit from the status quo and who stand to gain from a weak deal in Paris is a select group of billionaires, who have made many of their fortunes in the fossil fuel industry. Tackling the economic inequality that these ‘carbon barons’ thrive on is critical both to ending extreme poverty and fighting climate change…Oxfam is also calling for the Paris deal to recognize the need to address…damage…as well as ensure that all…actions respect human rights and gender equality. 

Read the full post here

Article
1 December 2015

Assemblée National Event on the Fight Against Climate Change: Women on the Frontlines

Author: WEDO (Women’s Environment & Development Organization)

Eleanor Blomstrom, from WEDO [Women’s Environment & Development Organization]'s Bridget Burns, and Usha Nair, representing the Women and Gender Constituency, discussed the social and gender dimensions of climate change and the solutions that women bring to COP and on the ground. Eleanor joined a panel moderated by the Chair of the Women’s Group at the National Assembly, Mrs. Catherine Coutelle…She zeroed in on the demands of the Women and Gender Constituency such as keeping warming under 1.5 degrees and ensuring a guiding mandate for gender equality and human rights in the agreement, as well as those that are most applicable to developed countries in leading on climate change action: committing to their urgent and fair emissions reductions, activating financing…transfer of technology that is…sustainable and environmentally and socially sound…Eleanor included a focus on the need for climate justice in order to address the inequities and inequalities caused and deepened as a result of climate change…

Read the full post here

Article
1 December 2015

COP21: Business needs to act on forests, says Prince Charles

Author: Roger Harrabin, BBC

The Prince of Wales told a meeting at the Paris climate summit that attitudes were beginning to change, with forest protection initiatives being introduced. But he said too many companies still turned a blind eye to their commercial activities destroying forests…He said the best way for governments to save forests is to grant legal title to the indigenous people who inhabit them…He said forests play a vital role in stabilising the climate by sucking carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and fixing it into soils...For some developing nations, deforestation is the largest source of emissionsBut finance is now needed under that scheme to compensate developing nations for foregoing the profit from cutting their forests...

Read the full post here

Article
1 December 2015

IndustriALL COP21 blog

Author: Brian Kohler, IndustriALL

IndustriALL Global Union's director of sustainability, Brian Kohler, reports from the crucial climate summit taking place in Paris...

Read the full post here

Article
30 November 2015

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights responsibilities of business regarding human rights impacts of climate change

Author: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Human rights must be part of any climate change agreement in Paris", 27 Nov 2015

Any agreement on climate change reached in the Conference of Parties (COP 21)…needs to have a human rights response at its core, said Craig Mokhiber, who heads the Development and Economic Social Issues division for the UN Human Rights Office. “Climate change…is the direct result of policies and practices in the public and private sectors, and it undercuts human rights,” he said. “…we think a direct breach of those rights has taken place...”…In its Key Message on Human Rights and Climate Change, the UN Human Rights Office has also called on States to take action to protect those who lack the resources to protect themselves, as well as providing access to effective redress for climate harm. “We know, as a matter of evidence, that climate change directly impacts on the right to health, the right to water and sanitation, the right to adequate housing and right to development,” Mokhiber said…

[Key Messages document highlights business responsibility under UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Businesses...must be accountable for their climate impacts and participate responsibly in  climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts with full respect for human rights. Where States incorporate private financing or market-based approaches to climate change within the international climate change framework, the compliance of businesses with these responsibilities is especially critical.]

Read the full post here

Article
30 November 2015

Philippines urges nations to slap ‘green’ taxes on toxic goods

Author: Ben O. de Vera, Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Philippines and 19 other countries deemed most vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change are urging nations to slap taxes on goods that are harmful to the environment…Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima in a Nov. 12 letter urged developed countries to support the initiatives of the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) group of finance ministers, formed to seek new international partnerships on climate financing…They have a combined population of nearly 700 million, which Purisima claimed are “severely affected by global climate change.” “Nearly half of our people live in extreme forms of poverty, and due to climate change we now face estimated losses of at least 2.5 percent of gross domestic product each year…”…said…Purisima, who chairs the V20…“With lives at risk and the fate of nations threatened, we are firm in our belief that climate change is the fundamental human rights issue of our time…”…Purisima pushed for greater support…for climate financing.

Read the full post here

Article
30 November 2015

Political positioning of social organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean towards the COP 21

Author: TNI

The undersigned organizations and social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean:

WE BELIEVE That the current crisis is not just global warming…This crisis is rooted in the capitalist system…created according to favor the interests of large transnational corporations…[W]e see an increase in discrimination and violence against women in particular, forced migrations…and the inability to continue to exist as indigenous communities…To address this crisis, we believe that it´s necessary a system change that radically change our patterns of production and consumption…WE DENOUNCE AND REJECT…The large companies…in complicity with many governments that promote institutional frameworks to further advance the commercialization and land grabbing…WE DEMAND…That developed countries are committed to drastic emissions reductions…to transfer funds for adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the global South and technology transfer…To put an end to the processes of persecution, disappearance, torture and murder of social activists and defenders of the peoples´ rights

Download full statement: Political positioning of social organizations of Latin America and Caribbean

Read the full post here