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Climate Change: Tackling the Greatest Human Rights Challenge of our Time

Recommendations for effective action on climate change and human rights

Climate change is not just an environmental issue, but is fast becoming the greatest human rights challenge of our time. It is an issue of justice and inequality for the millions of people and communities around the world who already are experiencing climate harms. It is also an issue for future generations who will suffer increasingly severe loss and damage. The international community‚Äôs historic and present failures to take urgent action to mitigate climate change is further threatening these rights, especially for vulnerable peoples and communities who are already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change. However, if the international community acts urgently with ambition and scaled-up resources, it can reduce the very worst climate impacts.

This briefing paper provides an overview of the human rights implications of climate change and the human rights obligations of States relating to climate change. It explores ways in which human rights can be addressed further in the UNFCCC process. The paper also sets out specific recommendations for integrating human rights into the UNFCCC climate regime.