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19 Feb 2015

Scott Jerbi, Institute for Human Rights and Business

Do Climate Negotiations Offer Lessons for UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights?

[R]epresentatives from nearly 200 countries adopted a draft text on combating climate change, an important step toward a new global treaty world leaders hope to agree in Paris this December...But some commentators suggest the real story to watch is how a new and more flexible approach to reaching a UN climate agreement is emerging...Observers of the current climate negotiations see governments developing a "bottom up" strategy, based largely on national commitments..., in contrast with more traditional "top down" approaches, which seek consensus on a single, integrated and legally binding agreement applied equally to all parties. Experts suggest this shift...reflects today's reality in which power is more diffuse...A "bottom up" approach to negotiations on human rights challenges would need to make space for a wide range of stakeholder voices to be heard and would put the onus on companies themselves to state publicly what they would expect of governments...