Countdown to Human Rights Day
Join Angelique Kidjo for a concert for human rights
OHCHR and climate change
In Article 4(f), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change commits to adaptation and mitigation considerations and actions "with a view to minimizing adverse effects [of climate change] … on public health and on the quality of the environment". Expanding on this, the Preamble to the Paris Agreement states that "parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on […] the right to health".
Climate change impacts health in a number of ways: directly, through extreme weather or changes in temperature; and indirectly through changes to natural systems that result in crop failures, expanding disease vectors, and displacement of persons. These mechanisms contribute to human vulnerability to disease and injury, diminished occupational and mental health, and risks posed by resource scarcity and migration.
According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, climate change will result in greater risk of injury, disease, and death due to increased heat and fire; higher risk of undernutrition due to decreased food availability and accessibility; lowered work capacity and productivity; and greater risk of food-, water- and vector-borne diseases. Globally, 400,000 premature deaths have been linked to climate change (DARA, 2012) and approximately 250,000 additional deaths due to climate change effects are expected per year between 2030 and 2050 (WHO, 2014).
In preparing this study, OHCHR requested inputs from relevant stakeholders to a questionnaire on climate and health. These were summarized in a conference room paper for the panel discussion on 3 March 2016. Based on the panel discussion and inputs received, OHCHR submitted its analytical study to the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council.
This submission highlights the normative basis and recommendations for protecting the right to health from the negative impacts of climate change in the context of the Nairobi Work Programme.
Pursuant to resolution 29/15, OHCHR organized a panel discussion on the impacts of climate change on the right to health during the 31st session of the Human Rights Council. The panel discussion was moderated by H.E. Mr. Trung Thanh Nguyen, Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.