The “Great 8” for People-Centered Climate Action

4 May 2018

While raising ambition has become the buzzword at the UNFCCC talks, ECO would like to encourage Parties to consider a more comprehensive definition of ambition. What if we measured successful climate action not only from a quantitative perspective (e.g.  measured in tons of greenhouse gases and Dollars for climate finance?), but also from a qualitative perspective (e.g. how has climate action contributed to respecting, promoting and considering human rights and related principles and obligations)? Effective implementation of the Paris Agreement requires a critical and cross-cutting element: putting people at the center of all climate decision-making and action.


At COP21, Parties committed to apply their respective rights-related obligations to their climate actions. This is monumental as literally all Parties to the UNFCCC are signatories to at least one international convention on human rights. Now that Parties are focusing on developing the Rulebook of the Paris Agreement which will have a long-term and decisive impact on the implementation of the Agreement, ECO would like to encourage them to reflect the full vision agreed on in Paris.


ECO is thrilled to hear that on Wednesday the European Union, supported by a number of other interventions, called for the inclusion of the various rights and associated elements from the Paris Agreement preamble into the set of recommended information for States to provide in their NDCs.


The international community must #StepUp2018 to deliver on the commitment to limit global warming to 1.5C, both by increasing climate ambition and scaling up climate action, but  not at the expense of people’s rights. This is where the “great 8” come in. No, this is not the latest Marvel production, but the fundamental elements that Parties should be invited to include, in particular in the planning process of their NDCs: human rights, indigenous peoples” rights, public participation, gender, just transition, food security, ecosystem integrity and the protection of biodiversity, and intergenerational equity.   


ECO calls on Parties to join the movement and demonstrate their support for rights-based and people centered climate action.


Some might call it ambition, but this is about our survival.

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