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23 Jan 2018

Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines

Commission on Human Rights Overview of the Petition and National Inquiry

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A petition has been filed before the Commission, praying for an investigation on the responsibility of the so-called private “Carbon Majors” for allegedly contributing to climate change, which, it is further asserted, is impacting the human rights of the Filipino people.

The petitioners seek to establish how climate change is related to the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters and how human rights are affected by it.

The case is novel in its attempt to haul the respondent “carbon majors” in one “global petition” involving human rights. It seeks to promote…the notion that businesses have an obligation to respect human rights…under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights…

For the first time…a Petition casting the issue of climate change within the framework of human rights has been filed with a National Human Rights Institution…The Commission…has launced an inquiry, entitled: “National Inquiry on the Impact of Climate Change on the Rights of the Filipino People and the Responsbility therefor of the “Carbon Majors.”

In conducting this inquiry, the Commission is fully cognizant of the principle of territoriality…It…seeks to enquire if climate change impacts human rights and, if so, whether the “carbon majors” (and other duty bearers) have responsibility…