Press Release - 776(2009)
“Climate change is also a human rights concern” says Commissioner Hammarberg
Strasbourg, 19.10.2009 – “The daily lives of millions of people are already being affected by the natural effects of global warming. Basic human rights - such as the right to life, health, food, water, shelter or property - are also threatened” said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest Viewpoint published today.
Calling for a spirit of global solidarity and the recognition of interdependence among countries, the Commissioner stresses the need to develop a stronger focus on the relationship between climate change and human rights. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which their rights and freedoms can be fully realised. This order is undermined today by the absence of effective action against climate change” he said.
“There are already some reports and studies that show the effects of climate change on the full enjoyment of human rights. Governments have the obligations to protect those whose rights are affected by the impact of global warming and by the policies and measures designed to address climate change.”
Commissioner Hammarberg further underlines that human rights standards should be integrated into plans and policies to address climate change and that economic and social rights should be protected by making best use of the available resources.
“Climate change and human suffering are intertwined. It is therefore crucial that the United Nations conference in Copenhagen next December reaches a strong deal to fight against climate change, with due regard to human rights protection.”
Published fortnightly in English, French and Russian, Viewpoints can be used without prior consent, provided that the text is not modified and the original source is indicated in the following way: “Also available at the Commissioner’s website at www.commissioner.coe.int”.
Press contacts in the Commissioner’s Office:
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