When ECO learnt that February’s ADP session would be held in Geneva, home of the Human Rights Council, we started dreaming of how the UNFCCC could use a change of scenery (from Bonn) to agree, respect, protect, promote and fulfil human rights for all, in all climate change related actions.
Little did we know that nations of the world would actually come one step closer to fulfilling this dream, and in the very first few hours of the session too! Well done. A significant number of groups and countries; including Mexico, Uganda, Chile, the EU, Bolivia, and Tuvalu, supported the inclusion of strong language of human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, and gender equality. This was done throughout different sections of the text including Section C which will help ensure that these principles apply to all aspects of the agreement.
Even though the engagement levels have been great from a wide array of Parties, the road to Paris is short and winding. As Parties are about to engage in the so-called streamlining exercise, remember that beyond all the legalese, climate change has profound human consequences. The lives and livelihoods of literally billions of people are riding on what comes out of this process.
ECO is hopeful that the Geneva legacy will make history, and recalls President Hollande’s words last month that COP21 will be an opportunity for “all nations of the world to take a new step in favour of human rights through the UN climate conference. It is our duty to succeed.”