ECO hopes that Ministers had smooth travels, lots of rest and have now settled down in Katowice ready to deliver strong messages during the High-Level segment taking place today and tomorrow. If Ministers are looking for further inspiration, ECO is happy to help. Yesterday was International Human Rights” Day. So, what if, today, Ministers decided to be disruptive and state loud and clear that every day should be Human Rights Day?
Why? Because climate change severely affects the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people around the world, EVERY SINGLE DAY. And if you believe the IPCC Special 1.5C report €” i.e. if you have any common sense or humanity €” you know this will only get worse. Countries must urgently scale up meaningful climate action; action that not only addresses climate change, but also reduces inequalities and empowers individuals and communities.
So what can Ministers do? Statements are about presenting a vision. So what about using this opportunity to reaffirm the Paris vision €” the one where Parties committed to respect and promote human rights, food security, rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, public participation, ecosystem integrity, intergenerational equity and just transition? What could be a better vision than one for the action needed to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C? Strong, supportive statements could help unlock the debate under the PAWP and would be a great reminder that human rights can never be a bargaining chip. They must be fought for every day and everywhere €” even in the halls of the UNFCCC and through climate action.