Make Human Rights and the Rulebook a Happy Family for Christmas

6 December 2018

As the weather gets colder and Parties work to make a complete rulebook, the spirit of the Paris Agreement — the eight rights based principles included in the Paris preamble are looking forward to being part of that happy family.

How do their chances look? Advocates argue that effective implementation of the Paris Agreement requires people to be at the centre of all climate decisions-making processes and actions. Parties must include the following fundamental elements throughout their implementation guidelines: human rights, indigenous peoples” rights, public participation, gender equality, just transition, food security, ecosystem integrity, protection of biodiversity, and intergenerational equity.

But some feel their presence in the Paris preamble is enough to allow them to thrive in climate action around the world, or that mere reference to the preamble in the Rulebook would be enough or that maybe just one or two of the principles need to be included.

Including human rights language within the Rulebook itself will help Parties develop and implement the effective climate action needed to stay below 1.5oC. Ultimately, this is what the Rulebook is about: giving guidelines to Parties, to help them to put general principles into concrete steps for necessary climate actions.

We were pleased to see many of the rights have a home in the current text in APA agenda item 3 on the planning processes of NDCs, but we are wondering why some elements are still left behind. Why do food security, ecosystem integrity and intergenerational equity not get any love? Show them some love by bringing them into the family.

We know eight “kids” may seem like a lot, but good parenting means loving them all and giving them a home in the Rulebook. And not only is it manageable, but also it is necessary, because the well-being of people and the planet is non-negotiable.

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