There is no longer any question: climate change is a human rights issue. Rising seas threaten the residents of small island nations. Melting glaciers affect freshwater resources in South American and Himalayan communities, while intruding seas contaminate groundwater in coastal and low-lying communities. Melting snow and ice threaten the food and security of Arctic peoples.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Human Rights Council, and others recognize that climate change is not only an environmental but also a human rights issue for those experiencing these devastating impacts. To prevent further  harm, the UNFCCC has explicitly recognized (but not yet operationalized) the need to protect human rights in all climate action.

The Human Rights & Climate Change Working Group engages in the following ways:

  1. Within the UNFCCC, we advocate for human rights in the development, implementation and monitoring of the climate policies, institutions and mechanisms established under the UNFCCC.
  2. Within Other International Processes, including the post-2015 agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights Council. We advance the linkages between human rights and climate change.
  3. At the National and Regional Levels, we provide technical support with respect to the implementation of rights-based policies and actions on the ground.
  4. At the Community Level, we help to build capacity and provide support to peoples and communities seeking to hold state and corporate actors accountable for the adverse impacts of climate policies and actions.