This appeal comes as EJF releases its latest report, A Nation Under Threat, alongside a special short film to mark the day, that explores how climate change has become one of the major challenges to the enjoyment of the basic rights to life, food, health, water, housing and self-determination.
Through an in-field investigation and collaborations with local partners, EJF has documented how worsening extreme weather events and the gradual but sustained deterioration in environmental security in one of the world’s most vulnerable countries, Bangladesh, has been responsible for significant damage to vital infrastructure, widespread devastation to housing stock, reduced access to fresh water for drinking, sanitation and irrigation, and increased poverty and hunger.
Watch EJF’s short film for Human Right Day featuring Ashley Jensen:
Over the past four years, the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed three resolutions which recognise that climate change poses an immediate and far-reaching threat to people and communities around the world and has adverse implications for the full enjoyment of human rights. Despite this, however, EJF argues that international negotiations on climate change have so far failed to adequately address the humanitarian and human rights impacts of climate change.
Steve Trent, EJF's Executive Director, said:
“Doha seems to have come up with a formal acknowledgement from the USA and other developed nations that there will be a bill to pay for the havoc that will come from climate change and they will have to pick up at least some of tab. But crucially, the talks have not shown the political leadership and ambition we need - they have failed to create a path from recognising the causes and costs of climate change to delivering the funds and the action to solve these. Our collective failures on climate change have critical impacts on food security, health and well-being, the fundamental tenets of shared international commitments on human rights, and we aren’t doing enough. Climate refugees forced from their homes by environmental insecurity don’t even have any form of legal recognition or protection. This Human Rights Day we need to remember that we can and should look to human rights frameworks to identify ‘at risk’ areas and populations and guide us in how we respond to climate change.”
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London and Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to South Asia, said:
"The deaths, injuries, displacement and poverty that climate change is already causing can, and should, be viewed as fundamental breaches of human rights requiring urgent global action. That’s certainly how many less-developed countries see it. I often meet ambassadors and representatives of small, developing nations, who argue that the impact of climate change is the most significant threat their people face, and that the richer nations shouldn’t just act to prevent it, they should compensate those nations that have already seen their citizens’ human rights violated. But it is not viewed, officially, as a human rights problem. If it was, that could change the international political debate, speeding up progress toward reducing emissions and properly funding the adaptation measures.",
Watch MEP Ska Keller's filmed message for Human Rights Day:
1. Campaign with EJF: Sign the petition
2. Support the campaign and donate via the Big Give Christmas Challenge
4. Download the report, A Nation Under Threat
Download the press release
Environmental Justice Foundation Charitable Trust (EJF) is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1088128)
Environmental Justice Foundation Limited is a not-for-profit trading company limited by guarantee registered in England (no. 0385 3159)