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Human Rights Groups Take Climate Fight to Big Corporations

People’s Summit issues landmark declaration in New York, unleashing new resources to wage financial and legal campaign. More than 200 representatives of indigenous peoples, labour groups, legal bodies, and environmental organizations issued a historic declaration on Wednesday merging human rights with climate justice.

The statement of principles is backed by Amnesty International and Greenpeace International, in conjunction with UN human rights officials and several international law centres. 

Wednesday’s declaration seeks to lace together international human rights law, climate change, and the financial impact for companies and societies failing to meet commitments to help reverse global warming.

The groups resolved to pursue strategic litigation efforts and punish the financial sector’s fossil fuel investments, as well as use human rights accountability mechanisms and moss mobilisation campaigns.

Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the Wallace global Fund, a private foundation focused on progressive social change and an organiser of the Peoples’ Summit, cited the need for a “rights-respecting economy that puts people, not profits, at the centre.”

 She said international environmental organisation 350.org’s announcement last week that institutional investors and other groups have committed to divest $11 trillion from fossil fuels is an indication that the climate justice movement is headed in the right direction.