Human Rights: the Pre-Marrakesh Homework

9 August 2016


While formal climate negotiations will only reconvene in November, other UN bodies continue their work to support the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. Their respect of the UNFCCC mandate means that climate negotiators still need to play their own part.

In early July, the Human Rights Council adopted a new resolution on human rights and climate change. Other human rights bodies, such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, are also scheduled to focus their work in the coming months on the implications of climate change.

Even though the Council had already adopted resolutions on climate change and human rights in the past, this year’s resolution was unique in emphasising heavily the role played by the UNFCCC on these issues. The resolution recalls the language included in the Paris Agreement affirming the necessity for Parties to respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights when taking climate action. It also emphasises the need for early ratification and effective implementation of the Agreement, and calls upon states to consider, among other aspects, human rights within the framework of the UNFCCC.

But the Council was careful not to step on the toes of climate negotiators, refraining from adopting any prescriptive conclusions. Instead, it leaves to climate negotiators the task to determine how the rights-based approaches mandated by the Paris Agreement will need to be implemented.

With about 100 days left before the COP, delegations still have time to consider how the outcomes of COP22 can ensure that human rights and core social principles are fully integrated to climate policy, to deliver benefits for communities, too. ECO is hopeful that many of the submissions prepared in the coming months will already articulate some of this vision.


Human Rights: the Pre-Marrakesh Homework

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