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Climate Change is a Human Rights Issue


Climate Change is a Human Rights Issue

Human rights have been ratified since 10 December, 1948 by the United Nations. There are basic human needs that are being distorted as a result of our changing environment due to human activities. Climate change is a human rights issue because in a world impacted by climate change it is difficult to attain a just and strong institution in combating the defining issues of our time. Today, we are faced with coronavirus pandemic that exacerbates existential crisis and retards development. The COVID19 has shown us that human and the environment are inseparable hence the need for the right to a livable planet is an essential part of human rights. Climate change is tearing the world apart and can lead to deglobalization since its impact knows no boundary. However, human rights are right if we can have a stable environmental condition. Thus, climate change creates an environmental situation that fuels violence – food insecurity to terrorism. The point of interception between the environment and those human rights should be a just and strong institution. Climate change in itself is a pandemic that defines humanity; from health to socioeconomic status. Without attainable actions, we are getting to the point of no return. Already, the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region is getting to the tipping point that is escalating to violence. As the population grows, climate change increases our quest for basic human needs due the depletion of natural resource.

In 2007, Darfur became the first internationally recognized climate conflict that claimed about 300,000 lives due to scarcity of natural resource as well as the mass migration of people towards the central in search for greener pastures. In the various hotspots region in the world, there is always a climate change induced factor that exacerbates. How do we achieve human rights in an unstable environment where millions of people are displaced and with the prediction that 1 in 33 people around the world will need humanitarian assistance in 2021 – that’s a 40% increase since the beginning of this year. Women hold fragile livelihoods, the bulk of informal sector that disproportionally violate our rights in term of crisis. This is why women and girls are the first victim in every environmental instability.

Environmental rights should be included in the fight for human right because the first precedes the second. Climate change colonizes our human rights thereby creating a vacuum for humanitarian needs. Where there are humanitarian needs the strive to attain human rights becomes difficult. We can’t have a secured human rights if our environmental conditions are not safe enough for all. Climate change is always a driver of every defining issues of our time. Recently the report from IUCN stated that,”climate change had an impact on the shrinking of glaciers, increasing fires, floods and droughts and bleaching of coral reefs are among the troubles facing 83 of the 252 World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO, the UN cultural agency.” There are so many pandemics that we are going to be threatened with as climate change persist while humans intrude into our biodiversity landscape.

An unhealthy environment will also affect the health of humans as the COVID19 pandemic has shown that the relationship between humans and the environment are inseparable hence the need to connect environmental rights as human rights. The state of our planet is central to human rights. So to protect our environment from pollution, degradation and illegal activities is same as protecting our human rights. The changing climate is making it difficult to human rights.

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