How Does Climate Change Affect Human Rights

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How Does Climate Change Affect Human Rights – Millions of people are already suffering from the catastrophic effects of extreme natural disasters caused by climate change, from prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa to devastating tropical cyclones that have swept through Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. During the northern hemisphere summer months of 2018, communities from the Arctic Circle to Greece, Japan, Pakistan and the United States experienced heat waves and wildfires that killed hundreds of people.

Although we primarily understand climate change through the effects it will have on our natural world, it is the devastation it has caused and will continue to cause to humanity that makes it an urgent human rights issue. This will complicate and increase existing inequalities. And this effect will continue to grow and worsen over time, harming current and future generations. That’s why the failure of governments to act on climate change, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, could be the largest intergenerational violation of human rights in history.

How Does Climate Change Affect Human Rights

How Does Climate Change Affect Human Rights

However, the current period of warming is occurring faster than any past event. It’s becoming clear that humanity has caused much of the warming in the past century by emitting heat-trapping gases – commonly called greenhouse gases – to fuel our modern lives. We do this by burning fossil fuels, farming and land use, and other activities that cause climate change. Greenhouse gas levels have reached their highest level in 800,000 years. This rapid growth is a problem because it is changing our climate too quickly for living organisms to adapt.

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Climate change includes not only rising temperatures, but also extreme weather events, rising sea levels, changes in wildlife populations and habitats, and a host of other impacts.

We are people who want what every other person wants – a safe place to live on the planet we call home. So while our work needs to be unbiased and objective, we are increasingly speaking out and adding to the clear message that climate change is real and people are responsible, the consequences are serious and we must act now. Catherine Hayhoe, climate scientist

There is an overwhelming opinion among scientists that global warming is largely human-caused: 97% of climatologists agree.

One of the biggest factors is the burning of fossil fuels – coal, gas and oil – which has increased the concentration of greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide – in our atmosphere. This, along with other activities such as clearing land for agriculture, is causing an increase in the average temperature of our planet. In fact, scientists are as sure about the link between smoking and lung cancer as they are about the link between greenhouse gases and global warming.

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This is not a recent finding. The scientific community has been collecting and studying data on this for decades. Warnings about global warming began to make headlines in the late 1980s.

In 1992, 165 countries signed an international treaty called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since then, they have held annual meetings aimed at developing goals and methods for mitigating the effects of climate change and adapting to its observed effects (the so-called “Conference of the Parties” or COP. Today, 197 countries are bound by the UNFCCC.

The effects of climate change are already being felt, but they will get worse. Global warming has reached almost 1°C compared to pre-industrial levels. Every half degree (or even less) of global warming matters.

How Does Climate Change Affect Human Rights

It is important to remember that a single list of the consequences of climate change cannot be complete. this

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These heat waves will occur more frequently and last longer, and extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many areas. Oceans will continue to warm and oxygenate, and global average sea levels will continue to rise. All this will have a devastating effect on human life and has already begun.

The urgency of addressing climate change has become more apparent since the October 2018 release of a major report by the world’s leading scientific body for climate change assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC warns that we must not reach – or at least not exceed – 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avoid catastrophic global warming. The report highlights the huge differences between the 1.5°C and 2°C scenarios.

In trying to limit the increase in average global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the IPCC states that we can, for example:

Perhaps most importantly, the IPCC report gave the world a clear deadline for averting catastrophe: greenhouse gas emissions must be halved from 2010 levels by 2030 to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Our governments must therefore take immediate action to reverse course. The longer we do this, the more we have to rely on expensive technologies that can have a detrimental effect on human rights.

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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says they must set credible targets by 2020 to avoid rising emissions, or “we risk missing the point where we can stop sudden climate change,” with catastrophic consequences for humans and all the natural systems that support us. “

Climate change will hurt us all if governments don’t act. However, the effects are likely to be more pronounced for some groups – such as subsistence farmers or coastal communities – and for those who are generally vulnerable, disadvantaged and discriminated against.

At the national level, countries in small and low-lying island states and least developed countries have been and remain among the worst affected. Residents of the Marshall Islands regularly experience devastating floods and storms that destroy their homes and livelihoods. The 2018 Northern Hemisphere heat wave made headlines across Europe and North America, but some of the worst effects were felt in places like Pakistan, where more than 60 people died – mostly workers already exposed to severe heat – because the temperature rose above 44 degrees. . S.

How Does Climate Change Affect Human Rights

The effects of climate change and pollution caused by fossil fuels are also linked to ethnicity and class. In North America, most poor communities of color are forced to breathe toxic air because their neighborhoods are closer to power plants and oil refineries. They have much higher rates of respiratory disease and cancer, and African Americans are three times more likely to die from air pollution than the general US population.

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Women and girls are disproportionately affected by climate change, making them the most marginalized and disadvantaged in many countries. This means that they are more vulnerable to the effects of climate-related events, as they are less able to protect themselves from them and find it difficult to recover.

Future generations will feel the worst consequences if governments do not act now. However, children and young adults are already suffering because of their unique metabolism, physiology and developmental needs. This means, for example, that forced displacement faced by communities, which affects a wide range of rights – from water, sanitation and nutrition to housing, sanitation, education and adequate development – can be harmful to children.

Indigenous peoples are among the communities most affected by climate change. They often live on marginal lands and fragile ecosystems that are particularly vulnerable to changes in the physical environment. They maintain a close connection with nature and their traditional lands, on which their livelihoods and cultural identity depend.

Climate change is a human rights issue not only because its devastating effects affect the exercise of human rights, but also because it is a man-made phenomenon that governments can mitigate. Kumi Naidu, former Secretary General of the International

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Human rights are closely related to climate change because of the devastating effects not only on the environment but also on our own health. In addition to threatening our existence, climate change is having a devastating impact on our rights to life, health, food, water, shelter and livelihoods.

The longer the government waits to take meaningful action, the harder it will be to solve the problem and the greater the risk of reducing emissions by increasing inequality rather than reducing it.

Right to life – We all have the right to life and to live in freedom and security. But climate change threatens the safety of billions of people on this planet. The most obvious example is extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods and fires. Typhoon Yolanda killed nearly 10,000 people in the Philippines in 2013. Heat stress is one of the most deadly consequences. The summer heatwave in Europe in 2003 claimed the lives of 35,000 people. However, there are many other lesser-known aspects of why climate change threatens life. The World Health Organization predicts that climate change will cause 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050 due to malaria, malnutrition, diarrhea and heat stress.

How Does Climate Change Affect Human Rights

Right to Health – We all have the right to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. According to the IPCC, asn

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