Climate Change is a Human Rights IssuePublished on 4 November 2015 Blog by Senator Mobina Jaffer
On November 30th, the United Nations Climate Change Conference will begin in Paris. The purpose of the meetings, that will occur over two weeks, is to assess the progress made on combating climate change, and to work to set new goals. Over the next few weeks leading up to the conference, I hope to amplify an important part of the conversation on climate change: to stress how climate change is a human rights issue.
Typically discussions around climate change revolve around the economy, environment, and science. These are all necessary conversations. But more and more information from these spheres demands that we the question: how will this all impact us as humans?
Some studies have been done already, including by the Pentagon who called climate change a security issue, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights who found multiple links between climate change and how its effects stand to violate human rights, particularly by those already living in poverty.
We know the effects of climate change are inevitable. And we know they will be seen in a multitude of ways: food scarcity and water scarcity could be tipping points for mass migration, extreme weather will destroy homes and cities, and shifts in landforms will change agricultural production and demands. The list goes on and on.
Over the next few weeks leading up to the Paris Conference, I hope to amplify the voices of those who are vulnerable to climate change’s impacts. I will explore a few dimensions of how climate change is a human rights issue. I hope we can remind all delegations going to Paris that we are not just talking about the economy or the environment, as important as those both are: we are talking about humanity.
Stay tuned for my weekly blog posts on the different ways climate change will impact human rights. You will also see updates on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. I encourage you to talk about this with each other, and also welcome your feedback, thoughts, and concerns.