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

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Article
29 November 2015

USA: Civil society calls on govt. to support human rights in Paris climate agreement

Author: 50+ US civil society organizations (see letter for full list)

[A] broad section of US civil society, including Amnesty International USA, Greenpeace USA, Refugees International, and the Center for International Environmental Law (and some fifty additional orgs), sent a joint letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry calling upon the United States to champion a climate agreement that:

  • Explicitly recognizes that human rights obligations apply when taking actions to address the impacts of climate change as well as actions to mitigate those impacts, thus ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights ,including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, intergenerational equity, just transition, food security, and ecosystem integrity;
  • Catalyzes urgent and ambitious mitigation action that effectively limits the average global temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius as a means to minimize future loss and damage; and
  • Ensures that the United States and other countries contribute their fair share of finance for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage in a manner that prioritizes the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

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Article
26 November 2015

Press release: Paris climate summit: an opportunity for a unified humanity

Author: CIDSE & Caritas Intl.

Caritas and CIDSE say that the UN climate summit in Paris (COP21) needs to respond to the urgency of dangerous climate change but also serve as a milestone for creating a unified vision for the future of humanity leaving no one behind...Caritas and CIDSE call for a legally binding and equitable agreement on climate change to be reached at the COP21 summit. They are convinced that if climate change is dealt with in a way that protects human rights for all this would be key to eradicating poverty, hunger and inequality…the new agreement needs to guarantee the funds for this transition and to help the world’s poorest people adapt to climate change and deal with its consequences. They say that fossil fuels should not receive any more subsidies and should be phased out as soon as possible and at the latest by 2050. Sustainable energy should be accessible to all…

Click here to see the CIDSE publication written ahead of COP21: “Paris, for the People and the Planet”

Click here to see CIDSE programme of activities in Paris

Click here to see CIDSE's series of videos about climate justice.

Click hereto read the Spanish version and here to read the French versions of the of the press release, on Caritas website. 

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Article
24 November 2015

Why Migration Should Be Central to Paris COP21 Climate Talks

Author: Harsha Walia, social justice activist & writer, on TeleSUR

[D]evastation caused by climate change in places like Tuvalu…continues on with international impunity. Millions of people are treated as expendable as the land…that elites and their corporate friends are digging up and polluting…Over one-fifth of Tuvaluans have already been forced to flee… Two years ago…Typhoon Haiyan left 6,000 people dead and 4 million people were forced from their homes…survivors released an anniversary statement to the world: “…We must organize an escalated action…to pressure our own inept governments and the world’s top 200 corporate giants amassing wealth from carbon pollution and social exploitation …”… an average of 26.4 million people per year have been displaced from their homes due to environmental disasters... a proposal to support climate refugees has been dropped from the U.N. COP21… carbon markets continue to be one of the primary solutions proposed by government and corporate elites, even though they open up impoverished communities to…further displacement…[Also refers to Barrick Gold]

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Article
23 November 2015

COP21: Tribal people on front line in battle against climate change

Author: Survival International

The COP 21 summit…has so far declined to give a voice to the indigenous peoples most directly threatened by ecological catastrophe. This omission comes despite clear evidence that tribal peoples are the best conservationists of the environments in which they live…The Guajajara…have been involved in clashes with armed logging gangs, and even organised initial efforts to extinguish a huge fire…The Ka’apor… responded to illegal logging in their territory by forming an indigenous ‘army’ to fight back…The Guarani…continue to have violence inflicted on them for their attempts to hold on to their land against sugar cane and soya farmers and big cattle ranching operations…Tribal peoples are the…people most acutely affected by the destruction of the natural environment in which they live. Without the support of the international community, however, South America’s indigenous people and the Amazon regions in which they make their homes could be destroyed forever.

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Article
23 November 2015

Why Gender Matters at COP21

Author: Katherine J. Barrett, Alternatives Journal (Canada)

COP21 is expected to attract over 50,000 participants…Among the nine “constituencies,”…officially recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is the Women and Gender Constituency. This group will work to bring gender issues to the fore of conference proceedings and outcomes…Women comprise 70 percent of the world's poor…Women…are more likely than men to die in extreme weather events and may be disproportionately affected urbanization, migration and conflict related to climate change…women hold primary responsibility for household and community food, water and energy, particularly in developing countries. When climate change affects these resources, women bear the consequences first and foremost…For these reasons, members of the Women and Gender Constituency…are working to ensure that any agreement reached at COP21 is “gender responsive.”…decision-making processes would include equal numbers of men and women at all levels… gender equality and gender justice would be incorporated…throughout the text of any binding climate agreement…

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Article
20 November 2015

Countdown to the Climate Summit: Global Witness profiles 10 environmental advocates killed for taking a stance against abuses by companies

Author: Global Witness

…Global Witness research has revealed that every week at least two people are killed defending their land from environmental destruction…Global Witness is profiling ten activists slain this last year on our environmental frontiers. The victims were all ordinary people who took a stand against the damage wrought by industries like logging, mining, agribusiness and hydropowerRigoberto Lima Choc was shot dead in broad daylight…in Sayaxché, Guatemala…Lima Choc and his colleagues were the first to document the…destruction caused by palm oil company REPSA…Water pollution said to have been caused by pesticides left thousands of fish dead and affected over 12,000 people…[I]n the Philippines…Dionel Campus and…Bello Sinzo were assassinated…by the Maghat-Bagani, who peppered them with bullets in front of their neighbours. Campus was the chairperson of the indigenous group Mapasu, which campaigned against the encroachment of large-scale mining and logging onto indigenous land and other human rights violations against the Lumad people...[Also refers to Asian Pulp & Paper]

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Article
20 November 2015

Paris climate talks must take into account climate impacts on indigenous peoples' rights & lands, says UNDP

"Indigenous peoples’ voices must be heard at Paris climate change conference, UN agency says", 19 Nov 2015

Indigenous peoples own, occupy or manage up to 65 per cent of the Earth’s land surface, yet they have largely been excluded from national plans prepared for next month’s United Nations climate change conference in Paris, according to the UN Development Programme...Together with the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, UNDP is bringing indigenous leaders and high-level government officials together, often for the first time, to ensure that the priorities of indigenous peoples, whose lands are often seized for intensive greenhouse gas-emitting development, are embedded in national proposals for the conference, widely known as COP21...[UNDP] highlighted research showing that secure rights to indigenous and community-held land protect against deforestation, which with other land uses represents 11 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions blamed for climate change. It noted that a review by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of 119 national plans to combat the problem submitted as of last month makes no mention of indigenous peoples... more than 80 per cent of all lands utilized or occupied by indigenous peoples lack legal protection, and are highly vulnerable to being seized by private companies, individuals, and governments themselves, in a non-stop drive toward carbon-intensive investments in agriculture, logging, mining, oil and gas, dams and roads, and tourism.  “The same development that fuels climate change, continues to rob indigenous peoples of their human rights,” Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples...

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Article
30 October 2015

Full report: "Paris, for the People and the Planet"

Author: CIDSE

CIDSE advocates for a Paris agreement that should foresee the phasing out of all fossil fuel emissions and the move towards a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all. It should ensure that a 1.5°C threshold is enshrined in a legally binding global agreement, set a goal for complete decarbonisation by 2050 and establish 5-yearly reviews of pledges to ratchet-up ambition. Furthermore, in order to pay the “ecological debt” owed to poorer countries, rich countries should deliver adequate, predictable and timely climate finance to poor countries.

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