Promoting the Geneva Pledge for Human Rights in Climate Action

During the February 2015 climate negotiations in Geneva, 18 countries announced The Geneva Pledge on Human Rights in Climate Action. Initially launched by Costa Rica, the non-binding, voluntary pledge reiterates the importance of addressing the human rights implications of climate change and emphasizes that human rights should inform climate responses. More specifically, it commits its signatories to promote better cooperation among their representatives at the Human Rights Council and at the UN climate negotiations, as well as to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices among their own delegations.

“We will facilitate the exchange of expertise and best practice between our human rights and climate experts to build our collective capacity to deliver responses to climate change that are good for people and the planet.” –The Geneva Pledge

The Pledge provides an extremely timely opportunity to better integrate human rights in climate actions. Indeed, promoting the exchange of expertise within national governments and ensuring coherent actions across relevant UN processes are key to translating human rights commitments into concrete actions that guarantee the effective promotion and respect of these rights in the context of climate change.

Since February 2015, 14 additional countries have signed the Pledge, which remains open for signature by any government.

The Geneva Pledge offers a basis for strengthened cooperation among the signatories. Regular meetings of the signatories have been held since February 2015, both in Geneva and in parallel to the climate negotiations. These meetings offer an opportunity for these governments to exchange ideas and good practices and to consider how to increase cooperation among them and with relevant organizations.

Members of the Human Rights and Climate Change Working Group have promoted the Pledge and worked with some governments to secure their signatures on the Pledge. Additionally, we also provide expertise to some of the signatories to support their implementation of the Pledge.

As of November 1, 2016, the following states have signed onto The Geneva Pledge: Andorra, Algeria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d´Ivoire, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Kiribati, Luxembourg, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Morocco, Micronesia, Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uganda, and Uruguay.