Al-Marri:Due importance must be given to national institutions to become actors in formulating public policies
Governments must be transparent and accountable in their response to the Coronavirus pandemic
We should ensure that any measures taken, even in emergency situations, are lawful and non-discriminatory
London: December 6, 2020
Al Marri stated that Climate change and its impacts are one of the greatest challenges of the day, directly and indirectly impacting on the full enjoyment of human rights, including social, economic and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights, the right to development and the right to a healthy environment. We recognize the importance of protecting the environment and biodiversity for present and future generations and that protecting the environment and biodiversity means taking care of water, air, land, animals and plants. We are concerned that climate change disproportionately affects the most vulnerable reinforcing existing disparities and creating new economic and social inequalities. Moreover, we are concerned that the policy measures taken to combat, mitigate, and adapt to climate change may not be sufficient to reduce negative impacts on human rights, but might even exacerbate the situation for the most vulnerable people, if not developed and implemented based on human rights and environmental laws and standards.
This came during his intervention at the annual meeting of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, on the first day on “Implementing the Functions of National Human Rights Institutions in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Knowledge Sharing”.
Al Marri added a human rights-based approach leads to more sustainable and effective climate action and climate policies. We call on our states to ratify and implement international and regional human rights treaties, taking into account the recommendations and guidance from the UN Human Rights Council, UN Special Procedures and UN Treaty Bodies. We welcome that to date 194 States have signed and 189 are now Parties to the Paris Agreement, and call on all states to implement its provisions. The Paris Agreement is a significant step for the promotion of human rights-based and people-centered climate action as it explicitly refers to States’ obligation to respect, promote and consider human rights protection when taking action to address climate change. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is directed to all countries and can help to foster the meaningful implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Al Marri pointed out that We recognize the need for climate justice for all and in particular those communities that are most vulnerable and susceptible to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Climate justice means addressing the climate crisis with a human rights-based approach whilst also making progress towards a just transition to a zero-carbon economy. It ensures that decisions on climate change are participatory, non-discriminatory, transparent and accountable and that benefits and burden of climate action are shared equitably. Climate justice requires that those most affected by climate change have access to effective remedies, including financial support. Efforts to address climate change must leave no one behind.
As for the national policies and relevant commitments, Al Marri said We commit to contributing to climate action efforts in line with human rights obligations and principles of non-discrimination and participation, by reporting to and advising government bodies as well as other stakeholders on a human rights-based approach to climate mitigation and adaptation measures. Moreover, We will promote and monitor the conduct of sound environmental, social and human rights risk and impact assessments prior to commencement of projects and the adoption of policy measures related to climate change and the environment. In addition, We will ensure that human rights-based approach towards sustainable and effective climate action integrate the expertise of local communities and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples. Moreover, a human rights-based approach to climate actions require meaningful, effective and active participation of all relevant stakeholders in the designing and implementation of national, regional and international climate policies, an objective that we will promote in all relevant policy fora. We also commit to integrating climate change and environmental perspective into our investigation of complaints and base our advocacy and policy advice on our findings. In addition, we commit to supporting rights-holders who are negatively impacted by either climate change or measures taken to address the impacts of climate change in order to facilitate effective access to remedy.