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call for input | Special Procedures

Call for inputs: Access to information on climate change and human rights - (DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 7 JUNE)

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on climate change

Deadline

07 June 2024

Purpose: To inform the thematic report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change to the United Nations General Assembly 79th session.
Background

In her upcoming report, the Special Rapporteur seeks to explore the specificities, challenges and good practices related to access to information on climate change and human rights. The report will focus on States’ international obligations, individually and as part of international cooperation, as well as business responsibility to respect human rights in this context. The report will identify gaps and shortcomings, in relation to which the Special Rapporteur would seek to make constructive and concrete recommendations to help States strengthen access to information on climate change and human rights, as a view to supporting the exercise of procedural rights in the context of climate change, enhancing the effectiveness of decision-making processes, and better protecting substantive human rights that can be negatively impacted by climate change, including by preventing discrimination.

Objectives

The call for inputs aims at advancing understanding on how the respect, protection and fulfilment of the human right to access information can support the exercise of procedural rights in relation to climate change, as well as prevent harm and ensure non-discrimination. Inputs are expected to shed light on the distinctive human rights challenges in relation to access to information on climate change, including through international cooperation, in comparison to other thematic areas of access to environmental information (see Framework Principle 7 on Human Rights and the Environment: A/HRC/37/59; and access to information on toxics and human rights: A/HRC/27/54). The inputs are also expected to share good practices and/or lessons learned on public access to information on climate change and human rights, with a view to ensuring public participation in decision-making and access to justice and effective remedies.

Key questions and types of input or comments sought 

The Special Rapporteur would like to invite States, interested individuals and organizations working on issues related to climate change, environmental democracy, business responsibilities, or access to environmental information, to provide input for the preparation of her thematic report. Inputs can be both country-specific or of a general nature. They may contain information on the following subjects: 

  1. What kind of information should be collected and shared to identify and prevent negative impacts on human rights arising from climate change and climate change response measures? What kind of information can be particularly challenging to access and why?  
  2. Are existing approaches to collect, share and monitor information on climate change and human rights sufficient for the public to assess the magnitude of actual and potential negative impacts on their human rights, and the adequacy of States’ responses to these risks? How can these approaches be improved?
  3. Are there undue barriers to obtain access to information on human rights and climate change that is up to date? (eg, language and technical accessibility, use of technology, grounds for non-disclosure, other?)
  4. Are there examples in which international cooperation effectively supported public access to information on climate change and human rights? What are the challenges in implementing UNFCCC Articles 4 (public access to information) and 6 (public awareness), and Paris Agreement Article 12 (public access to information), and other international instruments and processes that can support/contribute to international cooperation on access to information on climate change and human rights?
  5. Are there concrete examples of, or specific challenges for business to communicate information on risks, including in different countries, in relation to climate change and human rights? What are the barriers for the rights holders to access to this information and to evaluate the adequacy of an enterprise’s response to these risks? Are there specific examples of State regulation that have significantly improved access to information held by private actors on climate change and human rights?
  6. What are the impacts on human rights of inadequate access to information from public authorities and/or business? Are there concrete examples of, or specific challenges in, collecting and sharing information on disproportionate levels of actual and potential harm from climate change and climate change response measures (disaggregated data on Indigenous Peoples, women, children, local communities, persons with disabilities, older persons, persons living in extreme poverty, others)?
How inputs will be used

All inputs will be treated to inform the preparation of the thematic report of the Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council.

To avoid unnecessary duplication: if you have recently replied to other questionnaires from UN human rights mechanisms (or other international bodies) with information that would be relevant to this request as well, we welcome your directing us to those replies.

If not indicated to the contrary your input will be published on the website of the Special Rapporteur. If you would like your written input or any other information NOT to be published on the webpage of the Special Rapporteur, please explicitly indicate this in your input. 

Download the questionnaire (WORD):
English | Français | Español

Next Steps

Input may be sent by e-mail. They must be received by 2 June 2024 18:00 CET
(DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 7 JUNE)

Email address: [email protected]

Email subject line: Input for report on access to information

Word limit: 2500 words

File formats: Word

Accepted languages: English, Spanish, French