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Article

9 Dec 2015

Author:
Krizna Gomez, Dejusticia (Colombia) & Greg Regaignon, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, on openDemocracy (UK)

[blog] Digging deeper: the impact of coal on human rights

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With governments making commitments at the Paris Conference of Parties (COP21), global leaders must understand the impact and future of coal as a matter of human rights... We chose four specific country case studies—Colombia, India, South Africa and Egypt—because of their geographical representation, and the diversity of their profiles in terms of coal production and consumption... 

[We] came to six key findings. First, coal is not cheap, despite common misconceptions. Second, coal actually aggravates local poverty and may have very little positive net economic effect nationally. Third, the coal industry in the global South is being fuelled by both the South and the North—no one is exempt from responsibility. Fourth, human rights violations around the coal industry thrive in contexts of weak and/or repressive governance. Fifth, corporate social responsibility is simply not enough to guarantee true accountability. And finally, a just transition from coal is crucial for human rights—a “green” economy alone is not sufficient.

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