Climate wrongs and human rights. Putting people at the heart of climate-change policy

Climate wrongs and human rights. Putting people at the heart of climate-change policy

Rights based approaches and climate change

This briefing proposes that human rights principles provide a guideline for dealing with climate change. The document emphasises that the human rights community must become more engaged in national and international climate-policy debates and human rights law and institutions must evolve much faster to rise to the unprecedented international challenge that climate change creates. Most notably, it argues that:

  • mitigation policies must not violate vulnerable people's rights
  • the most affected populations must have an effective voice in setting mitigation targets and policies
    results in implementing mitigation targets should be reported publicly
  • countries must take emissions cuts in line with their responsibility for causing climate change and their capability to assist.

Based on human-rights principles, Oxfam calls for urgent action on the following hotspots to be addressed in policy making:

Rich countries must:

  • lead in cutting global emissions
  • provide the finance needed for international adaptation to climate change and for low-carbon technologies in developing countries
  • halt their biofuel policies

Developing countries must:

  • focus their adaptation strategies on the most vulnerable groups
  • have ownership in managing international adaptation funds

Companies must:

  • call on governments to act with far greater urgency in cutting global emissions
  • help building communities’ climate resilience

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