Climate negotiations conclude in Lima - further calls for rights protection

The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20) took place during the week of 7 December 2014 in Lima, Peru. 

Human rights advocates made breakthroughs in ensuring that the human rights dimensions of climate change are firmly on the agenda for future discussions.  But they expressed disappointment with the final agreement that emerged from the conference.

During the conference political leaders including US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and Peru’s President Ollanta Humala urged the private sector to play a bigger role in cutting carbon emissions.

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Article
15 December 2014

"Rights of Present and Future Generations at Risk After Lima"

Author: Ciel

"Rights of Present and Future Generations at Risk After Lima", 12 Dec 2014

Climate talks in Lima ended today, squandering the opportunity to set the stage for an ambitious 2015 climate agreement and for more urgent action to protect the rights of peoples and communities impacted by climate change. The Lima conference was an opportunity for countries to identify how they will increase mitigation action in the short-term to avoid the most catastrophic climate impacts, and to establish a clear path for developed countries to provide necessary finance to support developing country actions. However, the outcome failed to do either...

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Article
15 December 2014

Lima climate change talks reach global warming agreement

Author: Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian

"Lima climate change talks reach global warming agreement", 13 December 2014

Deal would for first time commit all countries – including developing nations – to cutting emissions

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14 December 2014

"Climate change talks now have human rights on the agenda"

Author: Adam Wernick, PRI

"Climate change talks now have human rights on the agenda", 13 December 2014

...Marianne Lavelle, a science writer for The Daily Climate, says that a few years ago, most of the discussion around climate change centered on emissions cuts, timetables and “a whole lot of numbers.” But recently, she says, the talk has been “more about people, about social justice and human rights.”

“Poor countries and poor people around the world are most affected by climate change, but they are the people who have the least to do with the carbon emissions overload that we now are facing,” Lavelle says...

The new emphasis on human rights may stem in part from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s appointment of Mary Robinson as his special envoy for climate change. Robinson, formerly the president of Ireland, was also the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002...

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Article
12 December 2014

Cutting carbon a good business opportunity, private sector told

Author: Gerard Wynn, Reuters

Whatever the global climate agreement reached next year in Paris looks like, the private sector will need to dramatically step up efforts to cut global carbon emissions, negotiators and analysts said at U.N. climate talks in Lima Thursday.  Political leaders including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and Peru’s President Ollanta Humala urged the private sector to play a bigger role in cutting carbon emissions because it makes good business sense...Companies have long been peripheral in the UN-backed talks, but the leaders said the need to engage private capital is becoming increasingly obvious, given the scale of the problem...Total climate-friendly investment fell in 2013, to $331 billion from $359 billion the year before...according to the Climate Policy Initiative... That lags far behind the $5 trillion to $6 trillion that the International Energy Agency says is needed in low-carbon energy investment through 2020.

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Article
12 December 2014

Lima marchers, experts want climate deal to respect rights

Author: Megan Rowling, Thompson Reuters Foundation

" Lima marchers, experts want climate deal to respect rights", 10 December 2014

Rights experts and civil society groups issued an open letter on Wednesday to ministers attending U.N. climate talks in Lima, urging governments to enshrine "human rights for all" in the new global climate deal due to be agreed at the end of 2015.

At the same time, thousands of Peruvians and indigenous people from the Andean and Amazon regions marched shoulder to shoulder with climate activists from around the world on the traffic-choked streets of Lima.

They called for urgent action to tackle climate change and the environmental problems affecting communities dependent on natural resources for their survival...[refers to Newmont Mining]

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Article
12 December 2014

Thousands in Lima demand just solution to climate change & protection of environmental activists

Author: Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian (UK)

"Thousands of marchers demand just solution at UN climate talks in Lima",

From the Amazon to the Andes, thousands of activists marched through the streets of Lima on Wednesday to demand a just solution to climate change...Campaigners said the message behind the march was not just to press for action to fight climate change – but for fairness, as well as protection for environmental activists who face daily harassment from powerful corporate interests...Since September, there has been growing momentum behind the talks which are intended to produce a global agreement on cutting carbon pollution by the end of next year...Many indigenous people feel shut out of the negotiations. Yánez said it was also critical to send a message to negotiators that many of the local people simply do not want the pro-business solutions that are a key part of the UN process...

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Article
10 December 2014

Climate justice: Human rights informing climate action

Author: Mary Robinson, Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice

This article by Mary Robinson was originally published on 10 December in Outreach - a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development.

Perhaps more than any other problem humanity has faced, climate change confronts us with the reality of our interdependence. No country alone can protect their citizens from the impacts of dangerous climate change; climate change observes no boundaries...

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Article
10 December 2014

Human rights matter for climate action

Author: Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice

Continuing the Foundation’s tradition of bringing diverse stakeholders together, Mary Robinson co-hosted with the Peruvian Presidency of COP20/CMP10, the first celebration of Human Rights Day at the climate negotiations. The meeting brought together climate change and human rights actors in a climate justice dialogue...

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Article
10 December 2014

Unilever CEO: Business must do more to combat climate change

Author: Justin Catanoso, Business Insider

"UNILEVER CEO: We Need To Do More To Fight Climate Change", 8 Dec 2014

The man behind the podium Sunday at the Global Landscapes Forum, an offshoot of the annual United Nations negotiations on climate change being held here, spoke in blunt terms: “Commercial agriculture accounted for 71 percent of tropical deforestation in the last 12 years. That translates into the loss of 130 million hectares (321 million acres) of forests. In fact, that loss contributes about 15 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector. These are the inconvenient facts.”...The speaker was pointing a finger of blame at one of the most environmentally damaging industries on earth. In doing so, Paul Polman, the CEO of England-and-Netherlands-based Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer goods conglomerate, was in essence pointing a finger at himself. It was both disarming and, well, breathtaking....

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