US intervention for the UNHRC Full-Day Discussion on Human Rights & Climate Change

Afternoon Session: “The adverse impacts of climate change on States’ efforts progressively to realize the right to food, and policies, lessons learned and good practices”

UNHRC – 28th Session

Geneva,
March 6, 2015

Thank you, Mr.  President.

The United States welcomes the opportunity to speak about climate change, and its relationship to human rights.

Climate change is an urgent and complex global challenge, requiring cooperation among all nations.  Any effective solution to climate change depends upon all nations taking responsibility for their own actions and cooperating for the benefit of our planet.  The United States is firmly committed to addressing this challenge at home, with our partners around the world, and through the appropriate fora, including in the ongoing negotiations by Parties to the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change.

We agree that the effects of climate change may have a range of implications for the effective enjoyment of human rights.

We remain firm in our conviction that any discussion of climate change in the Human Rights Council must be focused on these human rights implications in order to add meaningful value.  When it comes to climate change efforts, we see this Council’s role as helping ensure that countries respect the human rights obligations that they have assumed.

We remain concerned by attempts to insert the Human Rights Council into the complex and sensitive climate negotiations that experts are pursuing in other UN fora.  Any such engagement by the Council could risk sabotaging or prejudicing initiatives that have the potential to address climate change in an effective and meaningful manner.  While climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution, the search for a global solution is foremost an issue for the relevant environmental bodies.

With these concerns noted, we look forward to engaging constructively with concerned delegations to address respect for states’ human rights obligations in the context of climate change efforts.

 

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