Environment and human rights

Environment and human rights

Climate change is caused mainly by human activity. Activity that includes, among other things, the exercise of rights and freedoms, because although we sometimes do not realize it, the exercise and enjoyment of some of our human rights is also part of these activities that affect, directly or indirectly, climate change . But climate change in turn affects human life, and thus the exercise and enjoyment of all human rights.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change defines “adverse impacts of climate change” as changes in the physical environment or biota resulting from climate change, which have significant adverse effects on the composition, recovery capacity or productivity of natural or managed ecosystems, or on the functioning of natural or managed ecosystems. social and economic, or in human health and well-being.

In simpler terms, this means that climate change could affect our health, our ability to grow food, the diversity of animals and plants we have, our housing, safety and work, the way we communicate, the places we live, and the places and forms of life. The rest, how we organize ourselves as a society. It clearly affects some people more than others, not only because of where we live, but also because some people are more vulnerable to climate impacts, such as those living in small island states and other developing countries, due to factors such as poverty and gender. age, minority status and disability. Climate change poses a threat to our survival.

Therefore, it seems clear that with climate change, the way we exercise and enjoy our human rights is also changing, in one way or another, according to the characteristics and content of each human right. That is why rights such as life, health, food or housing are the rights that can most easily be identified as vulnerable, but they are not the only ones.

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In addition, the relationship between climate change and human rights is also important because of what has already been advanced: we must recognize, for example, the exercise of our rights to property, housing, food, education, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, access to information, work, etc. Many, if we practice it in an individual way and think about purely personal benefit under the model of consumption and exploitation of the majority in the world referred to as advanced, cannot be a mere generator of the elements. Causing climate change, but also the origin of other people in other parts of the world being unable to enjoy the same rights, by suffering from climate impacts resulting from the arbitrary exercise of our rights. That’s why it’s important to be aware of this, and to keep in mind that exercising our rights can also have an impact on the environment.

Thus, what is worrying about the relationship between climate change and human rights is that too often the focus is only on the one-way impact, forgetting that it is actually a two-way impact relationship.

It may be a bit late, but it is important to keep in mind that without a healthy, sustainable and sound nature and environment, we cannot talk about human rights for all. This is not a recent discovery, but simply a realization of reality.

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