Climate change a human rights issue

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Climate change is as important matter just as people human rights are concerned. Some of the serious issues concerning climate change are the extreme weather conditions, droughts, heat waves, rise in sea levels and the spread of waterborne diseases. Marla Spivak noted that the diminishing population can be proven with the reduction of the number of honey bees throughout the world (Spivak, 2013). These natural events are a threat to the existence of human rights for people living in those conditions. Some of the human rights in question are the rights to water and sanitation, life, health, food culture and development. This paper will look at the climate change effects and how they affect the human rights of the people living in those conditions.

It is true that the adverse weather conditions affect the people who are already disadvantaged in terms of their geographical and economic conditions (Ronald, 2015).  These are the people who have had very little contribution in the gas emissions that are a cause to the changes in the climatic conditions. Van Jones has argued that it is the people with low income that end up buying the products that have poisonous. As some may argue that it is the role of society to buy goods that are friendly to the environment, the poor have no choice but to buy the cheapest products that are available in the market (Jones, 2010). The negative impacts of the change in climate have affected people globally and has been shown to increase if serious measurers are not taken to safe guard it. The creation of a better environment is tied to creating a better people all the same.

Adaptive measures need to be taken to ascertain that the policies made by the institutions in charge of the climate change mitigation is effective. There is need to ensure that the policies that are created to address the changes are based on the human rights. The actions should allow meaningful participation of the people affected and their grievances listened to. The guides should guarantee that everyone will have a right to the climate action and treated equitably. The actions taken should guarantee accountability on the forces that necessitate climate change and there is international cooperation on the matter. The effects of climate change are global and no one country can fight it alone. It needs the cooperation of all members as the actions undertaken by one state will directly affect other members.

Anote Tong in his speech emphasized on the need to be prepared for the changes in climate. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights has stipulated that by 2030 there should be a working agenda that is based on human rights, which is acceptable to everyone (Tong, 2015). The development agendas should be in line with the vision of sustaining human rights for all. The development question should not be at the expense of the environment, which is crucial to the survival of humans. The climate actions should concentrate on maintain and adhering to the human rights and it is a collective effort. States should address the climate action according to the responsibilities and capabilities of the respective states.

Mary Robinson has stated that the fight against climate change should be started by assisting the poor as they are the most affected (Robinson, 2015). With international cooperation, financially and technologically these goals can be reached by integrating the human rights into the policies and climate action that is agreed and each country takes responsibility for their actions. Pamela Ronald has noted that giving the right technology to the poor farmers will assist them in generating the right type of food that is healthy to both the environment and the human population.

In conclusion, climate change and human rights are related. As the change progresses, the rights of individuals are violated. Therefore, when dealing with the actions to stop climate change, it is important that they are based at informing on the right of the individuals affected. Mostly it is the poor that are affected by these changes and chances are that they have little to do with the causes. Accountability and transparency are the two main pillars that would feature a human rights-based approach. Businesses too have a right to respect the guidelines set and it is their responsibility to take action as they have a direct involvement in the cause of climate change. By states honoring the climate laws there will be a considerable success as they are the ones to directly enforce the laws on their constituents and businesses.

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  1. Jones, V. (2010). The Economic Injustice of plastic. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/van_jones_the_economic_injustice_of_plastic/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].
  2. Robinson, M. (2015). Why climate change is a threat to human rights. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/mary_robinson_why_climate_change_is_a_threat_to_human_rights/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].
  3. Ronald, P. (2015). The case for engineering our food. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/pamela_ronald_the_case_for_engineering_our_food [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].
  4. Spivak, M. (2013). Why bees are disappearing. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/marla_spivak_why_bees_are_disappearing/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].
  5. Tong, A. (2015). My country will be underwater soon — unless we work together. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/anote_tong_my_country_will_be_underwater_soon_unless_we_work_together/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].
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