Religious and secular groups urge UN climate change action

By agency reporter
March 3, 2011

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is among 25 religious and secular organisations who have addressed a letter to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations strongly urging the appointment of a UN special rapporteur or a similar procedure to investigate climate change.

The goal of such an investigation would be to identify “the adverse impacts of climate change for human rights” and make recommendations for further action by international bodies.

“Climate justice, a core demand in the WCC climate change work, includes looking at how human rights are protected and enhanced, especially looking at the most vulnerable populations, such as those in Africa, Asia, the Pacific or the Caribbean,” said Dr Guillermo Kerber, the WCC programme executive for climate change.

“The WCC has clearly stated that climate change has human rights implications,” he added. “It became clear to us after the COP 15 Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, at Copenhagen in December 2009, that other avenues in the UN system would have to be explored to protect victims of climate change. Having a special procedure on climate change and human rights would be a way to enhance that protection.”

The letter to the UN Human Rights Council calls for action to be taken at the council session to be held in June 2011.

A full text for the letter, with signatories, can be found here:


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