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2 Sep 2015

Marc Limon, OpenDemocracy

COP21 Paris climate conference is one of the most important human rights gathering of past half-century, says Universal Rights Group report

“Human rights mainstreaming in climate change policy: a glass half full”, 2 Sept 2015

The 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)…is one of the most important environmental conferences ever to be held. But, as argued in a new Policy Report from the Universal Rights Group, it is also one of the most important human rights gatherings of the past half-century…A recent report by the Mary Robinson Foundation—Climate Justice (MRFCJ) found that, of those countries that have submitted National Communications and national adaptation plans of action, 49 made explicit reference to human rights…Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, has put forward three practical proposals to strengthen mainstreaming:

  1. The creation of fora under the UNFCCC and the Council to allow the human rights and climate change communities to share examples and good practices…
  2. The development of guidelines, by the human rights community, on how to integrate human rights obligations, standards and principles into climate policy…
  3. States should include consideration of the linkages between human rights and climate change in their reporting to the Human Rights Council…and their reporting under the UNFCCC…