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Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights responsibilities of business regarding human rights impacts of climate change

Author: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Published on: 30 November 2015

"Human rights must be part of any climate change agreement in Paris", 27 Nov 2015

Any agreement on climate change reached in the Conference of Parties (COP 21)…needs to have a human rights response at its core, said Craig Mokhiber, who heads the Development and Economic Social Issues division for the UN Human Rights Office. “Climate change…is the direct result of policies and practices in the public and private sectors, and it undercuts human rights,” he said. “…we think a direct breach of those rights has taken place...”…In its Key Message on Human Rights and Climate Change, the UN Human Rights Office has also called on States to take action to protect those who lack the resources to protect themselves, as well as providing access to effective redress for climate harm. “We know, as a matter of evidence, that climate change directly impacts on the right to health, the right to water and sanitation, the right to adequate housing and right to development,” Mokhiber said…

[Key Messages document highlights business responsibility under UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Businesses...must be accountable for their climate impacts and participate responsibly in  climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts with full respect for human rights. Where States incorporate private financing or market-based approaches to climate change within the international climate change framework, the compliance of businesses with these responsibilities is especially critical.]

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