Synthesis Note regarding States’ human rights obligations in the context of climate change
The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) are releasing a new Synthesis Note regarding States’ human rights obligations in the context of climate change as elaborated by the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in their country-specific recommendations.
The international community has recognized repeatedly the importance of States upholding their human rights obligations in the context of climate change. The Paris Agreement recalls for instance that “Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights”.
Consequently , the human rights obligations defined under the legally binding human rights treaties, must inform climate action. They require that climate policies and measures effectively protect the rights of those most affected by climate impacts and that the design of climate policies and measures integrates the principles of non-discrimination and meaningful public participation.
In this context, the human rights treaty bodies — established to monitor the implementation of the United Nations (UN) human rights treaties — have a critical role to play in further elaborating the existing legal obligations of States to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights, in the context of climate change.
Authored by the CIEL and GI-ESCR, this Synthesis Note introduces the role of these UN bodies and provides a detailed record of all of their climate-related recommendations.
You can also download our Focused Notes which offer a more specific summary and analysis of the relevant recommendations adopted by the following treaty bodies:
Please do not hesitate to share these documents with relevant colleagues.
Lucy McKernan (GI-ESCR) and Sébastien Duyck (CIEL)