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22 Oct 2015

Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice

Keynote speech by Mary Robinson - 6th Annual Mary Robinson Speaker Series event on Climate Justice and Business

Delivered on 23 September, 2015

I am pleased to be able to address the Mary Robinson Speaker Series on Business and Human Rights this year.  Many thanks to Phil Bloomer and colleagues for your warm welcome and committed hard work.  This is the sixth year of the Speaker Series, and I am both honored and humbled by the incredible human rights activists who have delivered previous key note speeches.  Their bravery, their struggle and their determination to speak out for the rights of workers who deserve jobs with dignity motivates us all. This is after all the purpose of the Mary Robinson Speaker Series – to provide a platform for advocates who have done sustained, effective work on human rights and business to generate informed debate on the issues of our time.

The issue of our time that we are focusing on this evening is climate justice. Climate justice is a relatively new term for business.  Research conducted by my Foundation found that there was no use of climate justice narratives by the private sector up to the end of 2011. However, this situation is changing and a number of private sector organizations and businesses have started to develop and use climate justice narratives.  The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, the B-Team, BSR and even Ben and Jerry’s Ice-cream have embraced climate justice and are making it relevant in a business context...