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US, Saudi Arabia, Norway Blocking Human Rights at COP21 Paris

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Photo: It Takes Roots
Photo by Kandi Mossett in Paris

By Carbon Market Watch
Censored News

Report highlights need for human rights in the Paris agreement 
Paris, 10 December 2015. Today, at the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, Carbon Market Watch and CIDSE have released a new report highlighting the impact that climate projects can have on human rights. Join a large coalition of civil society groups at a media action at the COP21 venue.

As climate negotiations in Paris enter their final days, countries most susceptible to the effects of climate change are urging delegates to ensure that human rights remain at the core of the agreement. Countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Philippines have championed this language in this year’s negotiations and continue to stress the importance of keeping human rights at the core of the agreement. Others, like Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have blocked proposals to include this language.

“There is no more time to be lost, strong support has to come now to push for human rights in the agreement, which is crucial to guarantee that those most vulnerable and affected by climate change will not be left behind in the new climate regime,” said Meera Ghani from Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE).

At the occasion of the special day, Carbon Market Watch released a new report that highlights the need for human rights in the UN climate change regime and illustrates how a human rights-based approach to climate action would apply throughout the global climate change agreement.

Despite existing obligations that request countries to fully respect human rights in all climate action, this mandate is not yet operationalized,” said Juliane Voigt, human rights policy researcher at Carbon Market Watch. “Numerous projects implemented through the CDM have harmed people and the environment they depend on.”

Using case studies from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), the report explains how climate change mitigation can be achieved without harming human rights.

It doesn’t make sense to allow projects designed to mitigate harm to people and the planet from climate change if those projects end up harming people and planet in other ways,” said Abby Rubinson, co-author of the report. “Effective, sustainable mitigation action must respect and protect human rights, and Parties to the UNFCCC should recognize these commitments in the Paris agreement.”

Information about the media action:

  • Title: Stand Up for Human Rights
  • When: 10 December 13:15  - 13:30
  • Where: Outside Hall 4 (COP21 Venue)
  • Who: YOUNGOS/ NGO Human Rights and Climate Working group
  • What: Photo and interview opportunity: Human rights media action dramatizing the urgent need for support to those suffering on the front lines of climate change.

Links to relevant reports


Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 29 years, serving as a writer for Navajo Times and a stringer for AP and USA Today during the 18 years she lived on the Navajo Nation. After being a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated. She then created Censored News, focused on Indigenous Peoples and human rights, now in its fifth year.


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