Promoting Environmental Justice

All people depend on the environment in which we live. A healthy ecological environment is necessary for the full enjoyment of human rights, including the right to a dignified life, health, housing, food, water, and sanitation. However, the global trends we are experiencing today confirm this evidence: the overexploitation of natural resources, the planet’s pollution, the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters and other phenomena associated with climate change threaten to reverse decades of development and exacerbate poverty.

Indeed, the triple planetary crises of climate change, nature loss, and pollution are directly and indirectly impacting human rights globally. These crises undermine the enjoyment and protection of human rights and exacerbate environmental injustices, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable, marginalized, and excluded people and communities; they also act as threat multipliers, amplifying conflicts, tensions, and structural inequalities. The COVID-19 pandemic further aggravated this scenario, exposing deep inequalities in the distribution of wealth and resources, in the promotion of justice and security, and in the protection of human rights. Notably, as these crises intensify, they constitute the greatest challenge to human rights in our era.

This critical connection between human rights and the environment underscores the urgent need for collective action to address environmental degradation, mitigate climate change, and promote sustainable development while upholding human rights principles. Failure to address these interconnected challenges risks undermining progress towards achieving a just, equitable, and sustainable world for all.


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