The International Conference on Climate Change and Human Rights called on states and stakeholders to work together to ensure that human rights law, principles and standards are the cornerstone of government efforts related to climate change mitigation and adaptation to limit losses and damages.
The conference's general recommendations called for the incorporation of human rights, including the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, into the climate negotiation outcomes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as into regional, national and local climate management and key policy tools such as nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans.
HE Secretary General of the National Human Rights Committee Sultan bin Hassan Al Jamali, who read the conference statement and final recommendations, said that the international conference aimed to highlight the importance of rights-based climate action; identify promising practices for the State of Qatar and other actors and partners including governments, the United Nations, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and companies, while revealing recommendations to enhance cooperation to support rights-based climate action worldwide, especially in the context of the Middle East and North Africa.
He pointed out that the conference's general recommendations demanded promoting environmental justice for disproportionately affected people and groups, including strengthening judicial and legal systems and frameworks, access to human-centered justice, and support for rights holders and duty bearers to uphold the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
He noted that the general recommendations called for increasing ambitions for the rapid mitigation of pollution by reducing emissions in order to limit climate change to the maximum extent possible, no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
He pointed out that the recommendations reaffirmed the importance of strengthening international cooperation guided by the principles of fairness and shared responsibilities and related capabilities, to mobilize resources, support technology transfer, and build capacities for rights-based and people-centered climate change mitigation, adaptation and measures to cope with losses and damages.
During the closing session, Al Jamali said that the general recommendations stressed supporting improved access to climate-related financing for people, groups and peoples living in fragile situations, in addition to establishing strong accountability frameworks for the effects of climate change on human rights so that companies respect human rights and affected people by climate change and they can access effective remedies for the damages they are exposed to.
He pointed out that the general recommendations pointed to ensuring the free, meaningful, effective and informed participation of all people, especially those most affected by climate change, in climate decision-making and ensuring the protection of the rights of environmental human rights defenders.
Al Jamali said that the general recommendations called for ensuring that efforts to address climate change respect, protect and implement human rights through participatory, comprehensive and informed processes so that they are effectively monitored for potential impacts on human rights, and have mechanisms to ensure effective remedy in the event of harm to human rights.
He explained that the general recommendations indicated the need to integrate women's rights and gender equality into climate action and to be guided by the best available science, including the results of the intergovernmental panel on climate change and working with influencers, thought leaders and the media to raise awareness of climate change and its effects on human rights.
Al Jamali also noted that the general recommendations recommended ensuring the implementation of all climate measures that have an impact on the rights of indigenous peoples with their free, prior and informed consent, ensuring education while respecting nature for all, developing curricula for rights-based climate action, and empowering people, including children and youth, as agents of change.
As for recommendations to national human rights institutions, they called for providing advice to governments and other stakeholders on a human rights-based approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation and measures to handle loss and damage.
They stressed monitoring the impacts of climate change on human rights, actions taken to address climate change, making the results available to the public, collecting disaggregated data, and promoting the participation of groups that could be particularly vulnerable to climate change, including women and girls, older persons, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples.
They called for translating, strengthening and disseminating the recommendations and findings of human rights mechanisms at the national level, and supporting access to remedies for people negatively affected by climate change or climate action.
The recommendations reaffirmed the importance of supporting the protection of environmental human rights defenders, who face abuse, threats and harassment due to their work in the face of climate change, in addition to supporting the observance of human rights, including the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in national budgets.
They stressed the need to engage with national, international and regional human rights mechanisms regarding the effects of climate change and climate action on human rights, as well as to promote meaningful and informed public participation in climate talks.
At the level of recommendations submitted to the United Nations system, this recommendations called United Nations agencies, to support Member States and other stakeholders to advance rights-based climate action at the international, regional, national and societal levels, in addition to developing guidance and information materials on rights-based climate action, supporting capacity building and raising awareness for countries and other relevant stakeholders.
It recommended working together through inter-agency coordination mechanisms such as the UN Environment Management Group's Issue Management Group on Human Rights and the Environment.
The recommendations submitted to the United Nations system also called for advocacy and support for rights-based climate action, including participatory and inclusive decision-making and the effective protection of the rights, safety and well-being of human rights defenders in the field of the environment.
Recommendations stressed work to enhance policy coherence and coordination between human rights mechanisms and climate decision-making processes, including the conferences of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
With regard to the recommendations made to the business sector, it called for supporting a rapid and just transition to a green economy that supports sustainable livelihoods and respects human rights, and the establishment and support of mechanisms to ensure access to effective treatment for those affected by climate change.
It also recommended investing and facilitating access to environmentally sustainable technologies for all people, and supporting the development of a legal and institutional environment that protects and upholds human rights in a healthy environment, including from private actors.
In a related context, the recommendations submitted to civil society referred to the call for rights-based climate action at the international, regional, national and societal levels.
It also stressed the contribution to monitoring climate action and its impacts on human rights through participation with United Nations processes and mechanisms such as the negotiations of the conferences of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, constituents of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms and human rights treaty bodies.
It recommended providing direct support for rights-based climate action, promoting accountability through rights-based climate litigation, and supporting the meaningful and effective participation of people most affected by climate change in climate decision-making processes.
During the closing session of the conference, HE the Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Sultan bin Hassan Al Jamali revealed the practical proposals and recommendations of the International Conference on Climate Change and Human Rights, pointing out that the conference decided to explore opportunities to present its results at the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council and the 58th Session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Bodies including the facilitation of exchanging good practices for a human rights-based approach to climate action.
His Excellency said that the Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions (ANNHRI) will seek to promote and support the capabilities of stakeholders and member in partnership with regional and international actors including the Arab League.
His Excellency pointed out the conference also decided to establish a committee to follow-up its recommendations and to set a five-year implementation plan, as this committee will work with government, regional actors, and concerned stakeholders to promote a human rights-based approach to climate action in line with the conference recommendations.
For their part, the conference participants stressed the need for the whole international community by all possible means, including United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Human Rights Council, and the UN regional and international forums to avoid, reduce, and address the human rights impacts of the ongoing climate crisis.
The participants indicated that climate change has immense, unfair, and steadily exacerbating impacts on human rights, pointing out that the climate crisis is indeed a human rights crisis unfolding all over the world, calling for immediate rights-based climate action to prevent it from deteriorating and to address its worst impacts.
Following the end of the closing session of the International Conference on Climate Change and Human Rights, HE the Secretary-General of the NHRC Sultan bin Hassan Al Jamali held a press conference with the participation of representatives of the organizers of the conference, to present the results of the conference recommendations and the action plan emanating from it, and to answer all inquiries related to the mechanism for implementing the recommendations.(QNA)
1900411400Climate Change, Human Rights Conference Concludes, Issues Recommendations (1)