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Interview: Mary Robinson says responsible corporate decision making can help avoid negative human rights impacts linked to climate change

Author: Germana Canzi, Road to Paris, Published on: 30 July 2015

“Q&A with Mary Robinson: What is climate justice?” , 29 Jul 2015

"Often the people on the front lines of climate change have contributed least to the causes of the climate crisis…Climate justice…informs how we should act to combat climate change. We must ensure that the transition to a zero carbon economy is just…Climate justice focuses our attention on people, rather than ice-caps and greenhouse gases…By considering human rights in planning, designing and implementing climate action, policymakers can avoid harmful unintended consequences while maximising the social benefits of their programmes and projects…[One example] of human rights violations in the name of climate action…is the forced displacement of people and communities for the construction of hydro-electric reservoirs. Food prices have also increased…when food crops are used for ethanol...Another potential issue could be the damage inflicted on communities currently dependent on carbon intensive sectors like mining…Climate change exacerbates existing inequalities, including gender inequalities…Advances in integrating Environmental, Social and Governance criteria into corporate decision making can also ensure that concrete steps are taken to avoid negative impacts on human rights…The first thing developed country governments should do is provide resources for adaptation so that people do not have to leave the homes of their ancestors due to human induced climate change…

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