The EU and its Member States welcome today’s panel discussion, and would once again like to congratulate Mr. Fry on his appointment as the new Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.
Both sudden-onset events and the slow-onset effects of climate change have a negative direct and indirect impact on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights, which frequently disproportionately affect persons in vulnerable situations, including women, girls and persons with disabilities. At the same time, persons living in vulnerable situations are far too often excluded from accessing information, let alone meaningful participation in NDCs and adaptation plans. Effective global climate actions must be human rights-based tο promote the enjoyment of human rights of all, which also recognises that persons in vulnerable situations have the potential to act as powerful agents of change. Furthermore, we must support and protect environmental human rights defenders, including women and girls, and indigenous peoples, who are facing threats and violent, sometimes deadly, attacks. Protecting the environment goes hand-in-hand with protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of those who defend it.
With the adoption of the Green Deal, the EU is more than ever engaged in the fight against climate change, both in terms of decreasing carbon emissions, but also in terms of remaining the largest provider of climate financing across the world. The EU will continue to forge close cooperation with international partners towards this end, while pushing for the full implementation of international human rights instruments in order to support human-rights based climate action.
Could the panel elaborate on actions to specifically address the adverse impacts of climate change on persons in vulnerable situations? Specifically, how can states ensure that climate change mitigation measures don’t violate human rights of persons in vulnerable situations?