The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change established by the UN Human Rights Council at its 48th session in October 2021 (RES/48/14). At its 49th session in March 2022, the Human Rights Council appointed Mr. Ian Fry as the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.
The Special Rapporteur is tasked to carry out, among others:
- Study and identify how the adverse effects of climate change, including sudden and slow onset disasters, affect the full and effective enjoyment of human rights and make recommendations on how to address and prevent these adverse effects, in particular ways to strengthen the integration of human rights concerns into policymaking, legislation and plans addressing climate change;
- Identify existing challenges, including financial challenges, in States’ efforts to promote and protect human rights while addressing the adverse effects of climate change, and make recommendations regarding respect for, and promotion of, human rights, including in the context of the design and implementation of mitigation and adaptation policies, practices, investments and other projects;
- Synthesize knowledge, including indigenous and local traditional knowledge, and identify good practices, strategies and policies that address how human rights are integrated into climate change policies and how these efforts contribute to the promotion and protection of all human rights and poverty alleviation;
- Promote and exchange views on lessons learned and best practices related to the adoption of human rights-based, gender-responsive, age-sensitive, disability-inclusive and risk-informed approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, with a view to contributing to the achievement of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which could help in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goals 13 and 14, to address the economic, cultural, environmental and social challenges that climate change poses for the full enjoyment of human rights for all and in particular to support the resilience and adaptive capacities of people in vulnerable situations to respond to the adverse impact of climate change;
- Raise awareness on the human rights affected by climate change, especially of persons living in developing countries particularly vulnerable to climate change, such as least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing States, and encourage increased global cooperation in this regard;
- Facilitate and contribute to the exchange of technical assistance, capacity-building and international cooperation in support of national efforts, actions and measures to address the adverse impact of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights, in collaboration with Governments, international organizations, civil society, the technical and academic communities, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders, including by using new and emerging digital technologies;
- Integrate a gender-responsive, age-sensitive, disability inclusive and social-inclusion perspective throughout the work of the mandate;
- Work closely with States and relevant stakeholders, including business enterprises, both transnational and others, to adopt a human rights perspective in accordance with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to mitigate potential adverse effects of their activities, including investment projects, on human rights in the context of climate change.
Resolution of the Human Rights Council