COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Nov. 30 (UPI) — World leaders meeting in Denmark next week must ensure any climate change pact doesn’t put the world’s poor at further disadvantage, Amnesty International said.
After a conference discussing the impact of climate change on human rights in the run-up to the U.N.-sponsored summit in Copenhagen, Mary Robinson, a former president of Ireland, and Irene Khan, Amnesty International secretary-general, jointly warned Monday if world governments fail to act, “basic human rights for the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities will hang in the balance.”
Governments not complying with their human rights obligations when responding to climate change could reinforce links between denial of human rights and vulnerability to climate change, Robinson and Khan said.
“The cruel fact about global climate change is that while the problem has largely been caused by emissions from the richest countries, the poorest will pay the price,” the two said in their joint statement. “The rights to food, water, shelter and heath all risk being undermined by climate change.”
They called for an urgent, people-centered approach to countering climate change and ensuring the future for generations to come.
Khan and Robinson also urged governments to conduct adequate and meaningful consultation with affected people by involving them in decision-making on the adaptation and mitigation strategies that would affect their lives.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International