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Key Messages on Human Rights and Climate Change


26 July 2016


Climate change

Climate change impacts, directly and indirectly, an array of internationally guaranteed human rights. States (duty-bearers) have an affirmative obligation to take effective measures to prevent and redress these climate impacts, and therefore, to mitigate climate change, and to ensure that all human beings (rights-holders) have the necessary capacity to adapt to the climate crisis.

Climate justice requires that climate action is consistent with existing human rights agreements, obligations, standards and principles. Those who have contributed the least to climate change unjustly and disproportionately suffer its harms. They must be meaningful participants in and primary beneficiaries of climate action, and they must have access to effective remedies.

OHCHR’s Key Messages on Human Rights and Climate Change highlight the essential obligations and responsibilities of States and other duty-bearers (including businesses) and their implications for climate change-related agreements, policies, and actions. 

Issued By:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights