Launch of OHCHR’s study on the impacts of climate change on enjoyment of the right to health

UN Photo/John Isaac

On Thursday 16 June OHCHR launched its Analytical study on the relationship between climate change and the human right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (the study).  The study was requested by the Human Rights Council¹ and examines the impacts of climate change on human rights, particularly the right to health; related human rights obligations and responsibilities of States and other actors; and the elements and benefits of a rights-based approach to addressing climate change.

A key recommendation from the report is that the best thing States can do to protect the right to health in this context is to take the steps necessary to limit the impacts of climate change to the 1.50C goal of the Paris Agreement.  This reinforces the Foundation’s message that climate action is a key ingredient to the protection of human rights.

The report also makes recommendations relevant to gender, displacement, loss and damage and rights based climate action.  Along with these critical junctions of human rights and climate change action and response the report includes a significant link between the fulfilment of the right to health with the needs of future generations; noting that

In order to fulfil the right to health, Governments, civil society, the private sector, international partners and individuals must collaborate to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development that meets the needs of present and future generations.²

The Foundation engaged throughout the process on this topic with relevant stakeholders, countries and experts and welcomes the delivery of this crucial report.

The Foundation notes that at its core, the report highlights the interlinkages of climate change, human rights and sustainable development.

  ¹ Human Rights Council resolution 29/15                                                                                                                                                      ² Paragraph 53

Related Links

Human Rights Council work on climate issues and dedicated resolutions

Incorporating Human Rights into Climate Action

Rights for Action – Putting People at the Centre of Action on Climate Change