The human rights of millions of people, such as their rights to life,
employment, food and water, are at risk from climate change. The risk is higher
in developed countries, which are expected to be more frequent in drought
conditions, crop loss and other climatic emergencies. In addition, the technical
and financial tools needed to respond to climate change are lacking in many
developed countries. In reality, because of the financial, economic and food
crises and rising demographics, they still face the problems in understanding
the economic, social and cultural rights of their citizens. Legal commitments on
human rights explicitly compel States to intervene and protect persons and
peoples from human rights abuses.
Climate change has been marked by legal and political leaders the most serious
and fundamental problem we face today, the most significant and fundamental
question that affects our lives, the worst challenge facing our world, and
finally, the biggest global health threat in the 21st centuries, the biggest
human rights threat of our day.
The scientist believes that the primary cause of climate change is human
consumption of fossil fuels, which contributes vast amounts of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases to the air. These gases capture the heat within the
atmosphere, thus causing many detrimental habitats that are more vulnerable to
wildfires, such as increasing marine temperatures, extreme weather events and
droughts. Climate change has now been one of the biggest issues and threats
facing the human race.
Due to global mixing of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, anthropogenic
climate change is a global commons problem. International collaboration is also
needed to make real progress on climate change mitigation. This Paper discusses
and explores objectively on how international partnership agreements and
instruments have been organized and can be applied. In order to be able to
achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation, the Article defines the
framework of possible international negotiations and other policy instruments.
The United Nations Climate Change Framework remains a primary international
climate negotiations platform. However, other organisations, including
financial, international, national and local projects, as well as public-private
initiatives and transnational networks have arisen at various levels. This and
other connections generate possibilities, future co-benefits or damages that
have not yet been explored in detail.
Human Rights and Climate Change – Recent Initiatives
In a particular resolution, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations
discussed the connection between climate change and human rights. This
resolution determined that climate change "threatens the world's population
and societies urgently and broadly"
and called for a thorough review of the
links between climate change and human rights to be conducted by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR).climate change-related
impacts have a range of implications, both direct and indirect, for the
effective enjoyment of human rights including, inter alia, the right to life,
the right to adequate food, the right to the highest attainable standard of
health, the right to adequate housing, the right to self-determination and human
rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
The Right to Life
Several current and expected consequences of climate change affect the right to
live adversely. For example, the growing severity of tropical storms has cost
thousands of lives in Sub-Saharan Africa. The climate forecasts indicate a
growing tendency in both developed and developing countries towards climate
disasters. The high amount of GHGs currently released largely by the developing
world can and will increase these impacts. However, developing countries are and
would be affected more severely and are therefore incapable of managing and
responding to climate change.
More than 90% of people vulnerable to climate hazards live in the developing
world, and more than half of disaster deaths occur in low-human development
The legal obligations on the right to life are bolstered by a variety of
international and regional conventions on human rights, including the ICCPR International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and customary international law.
The UN instruments impose on States responsibilities for the security,
observance and compliance of this human right. States shall not act in order to
interfere with the practice of human rights. They shall take affirmative action
to avoid human rights abuses by persons and organisations. They must also take
positive action to ensure that universal human rights are enjoyed. Not only
states unilaterally deprive individuals of their lives, but also states which
refuse to act when action is possible and that endanger their lives are
infringing the right. Right to life is also our Fundamental right under Article
21, of the Indian Constitution.
The Right to Health
Article 12 of the ICESCR contains one of the most significant expressions of the
human right to health. Many other human rights instruments contain further
expressions of the right to health. The effects of diseases such as cholera,
malaria, hantavirus, dengue fever, scrub typhus and schistosomiasis on
temperature and geographical changes related to climatic changes are expected to
rise. There are other impacts on public health rights.
In communities where access to health services is still insufficient, all of
these consequences can be most felt. In many developing countries where the lack
of healthcare and social services is exacerbated by issues of water quality,
including water pollution, this would intensify the danger to the right to life.
Failure to provide enough electricity often contributes to power failures that
impede public water supply. This also happens in areas where the supply of
fresh-water decreases because desertification and salinization increase. Even
the human right to health has been endorsed by international organizations,
which cross regional borders such as the Organization of Islamic States.
Access to Resources
Article 11, of the International Convention on Economic, social and cultural
Rights (ICESCR), the States "recognize the right of everyone to an acceptable
standard of life for himself and his kin, including adequate nourishment,
clothes and accommodation and to the continuous improvement of conditions of
living. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also contains this right and
its constituents. Significant parts of the developing world face an increasing
prospect of water stress.
Healthy and sustainable water supply is a requirement for human growth. Water
from glaciers and the snow cover will be declining in the 21st century, causing
enormous threats to agriculture. Climate change would erode ecologically
friendly resources that rely on the vulnerable and limit work and production
The current demand on water supply, including urbanization, would be exacerbated
by climate change as a result of increase in population, economics and land use
changes. Much of the world's 6th population is actually reliant on mountain melt
water, which would undoubtedly reduce the supply of water in the mid-latitudes,
dry tropics and in other areas by the middle of the century.
There is a strong faith that climate change threatens the stability of many of
the habitats, with growing amounts of CO2 harming the ecosystems, habitat loss
and facilities (IPCC). Worldwide, biodiversity is being lost unprecedentedly and
the biological system is fain.
The international law framework for global action to Address climate change
The United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCC). It was
adopted in 1992. There are so far 197 Parties. It has been adopted as the main
framework for international collaboration in the battle against climate change.
In general, the Convention and the other relevant instruments aim to stabiles at
a pace that prevents harmful anthropogenic impact on the climate system.
Article 2 of the Convention reads
The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that
the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the
relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas
concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous
anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be
achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally
to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to
enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
Article 3, sets out the principles the parties shall be guided by in their
efforts to achieve the objective of Article 2. "Parties should safeguard the
climate system for current and future generations" The 'basic demands and
exceptional situations of developed countries' are often taken into account. It
urges parties to "take precautionary steps to predict, avoid or reduce triggers
and alleviate adverse effects of climate change" It facilitates sustainable
growth and supports an international economic environment that is supportive and
The Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol was the first binding step toward implementation of the
UNFCCC principles and targets, but it has had a small impact on global emissions
since some nations failed to ratify the Convention, some Parties failed to
fulfil their commitments, and only part of the global economy fulfilled their
commitments. On 11 December 1997, the Kyoto protocol was adopted. It came into
effect on 16 February 2005 because of a lengthy ratification procedure. The
Kyoto Protocol currently includes 192 Parties.
The gas formed by wood, charcoal and hydrocarbons combustion is carbon dioxide.
The aim was to provide industrialized countries with serious commitments to
reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide. In Kyoto, Japan from December 1997 to
March 1998, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change took place.
Article 2 The Kyoto Protocol adopted UNFCCC's goal to reduce the onset of global
warming to a degree which would deter harmful anthropogenic interaction with the
climate system by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations within the climate. For
all six greenhouse gases included in Annex A, the Kyoto Protocol is applicable:
carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs),
perfluorocarbon(PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
Assessment of its role: effectiveness & weaknesses
Recognizing that the developing countries are largely responsible for the
present high level of ambient GHG pollution, under general but differenced
, the Protocol puts a greater responsibility upon these countries.
However, mostly through national action, countries must reach their goals.
Protocol has, however, further means of fulfilling its objectives by three
business mechanisms: The Clean Development Process, joint implementation and
emissions trading. The Kyoto Protocol was seen as a significant first step to a
true global reduction regime which would stabilize and architecture GHG
However, the Treaty eventually struggled to achieve major pollution reductions
on a global scale, despite significant initial assistance from the international
community. Although there are many reasons to the relative weakness of the Kyoto
Protocol, one of the most important failings of the Protocol was its failure to
facilitate full UNFCCC involvement.
A systematic, sustainable response to climate change was not provided by the
Kyoto Protocol. In essence, the global warming continues to rise almost two
decades since the advent of global warming as a political problem. This trend
has been slowed little by the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. The
inability to achieve its legal usefulness was due to its failure to broadly
include States who fulfilled the duties set by the laws and in their individual
actions or non-conformity.
The Paris Agreement was introduced by the United Nations Climate Change Regimen
and was adopted in Paris on December 12, 2015 as the latest move forward in the
creation of the UN climate change scheme. The core objective of the Paris
Agreement is to improve the global climate response, holding global warming far
below 2 degrees Celsius this century and striving to restrict the temperature to
1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement appears to be a critical addition in
attempts to tackle global climate change.
Assessment of its role: effectiveness & future outlook
The Paris Agreement is framed in a manner that provides a straightforward
diplomatic account of what the parties are supposed to do with the fight against
climate change, including numerous shortcomings of their legal status.
The methodological approach is to provide a basic, but consistent global effort
framework. The impetus captured in Paris must be sustained in order to uphold
success in the fight against global climatic change. Thus, a greater global
consensus in fighting climate change seems to have been reached with the signing
of the Paris Agreement. Moreover, by including states tied up with sense of
society and co-operation to avoid disastrous climate change, with the support of
most important countries in the world.
Several current and expected consequences of climate change affect the right to
live adversely. Significant parts of the developing world face an increasing
prospect of water stress. Healthy and sustainable water supply is a requirement
for human growth. Water from glaciers and the snow cover will be declining in
the 21st century, causing enormous threats to agriculture. Climate change would
erode ecologically friendly resources that rely on the vulnerable and limit work
and production opportunities.
Climate change-related impacts have a range of implications, both direct and
indirect, for the effective enjoyment of human rights including, inter alia, the
right to life, the right to adequate food, the right to the highest attainable
standard of health, the right to adequate housing, the right to
self-determination and human rights obligations related to access to safe
drinking water and sanitation.
- David Waskow, Joel Jaeger and Joe Thwaites, 4 Big Outcomes the Leaders’
Summit on Climate Can Deliver,
- United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention, Article 2, 4 June
- United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention, Article 3, 4 June
- Paris Agreement to the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate
Change, Dec. 12, 2015, T.I.A.S. NO. 16-1104.
- Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change, 11 December 1997.
- Jane A. Leggett, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement: A Summary, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R46204.pdf.
- Laurence Boisson de Chazournes,The Human Impact on Climate
- Diganth Raj Sehgal, Climate change : New laws are the need of the
- India Const. art. 21.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Saloni Neema
Authentication No: MA113053856562-10-0521