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Jake Wilson M.Sc., M.A.(Hons) Ph.D Researcher, GCU Human Rights Climate Justice ‘Movement’ Procedural Justice.

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Presentation on theme: "Jake Wilson M.Sc., M.A.(Hons) Ph.D Researcher, GCU Human Rights Climate Justice ‘Movement’ Procedural Justice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jake Wilson M.Sc., M.A.(Hons) Ph.D Researcher, GCU Human Rights Climate Justice ‘Movement’ Procedural Justice

2 Introduction Human Rights: The Human Rights synthesis is a summary of 25 peer-reviewed papers on human rights, published between 2006 and 2012. Climate Justice ‘Movement’: This is a summary of 8 peer-reviewed papers on the climate justice ‘movement’, published between 2009 and 2011. Procedural Justice: This is a summary of 6 peer-reviewed papers on procedural justice, published between 2007 and 2011.

3 Human Rights

4 The main findings are: Since 2010 human rights have become an essential part of climate change discourse. The rights of future generations must be taken into account. Rights to development need to be included in order to achieve political consensus on climate change. A rights-based approach confers many benefits; rights implication of actions to mitigate / adapt should be considered. ‘Climate rights’ could be extrapolated from existing human rights law. Human security can be considered as part of the rights discussion. Human Rights

5 Human Rights as part of climate discourse Judicial authorities fail to recognise environmental rights as human rights, although post-Cancun, human rights have become an essential part of climate change discourse 1. More research and negotiation is needed to clarify the exact relationship between human rights law and climate change law 2. The OHCHR report in 2009 insisted that states have a duty to cooperate to realize human rights, especially vis-à-vis climate change 3,4.

6 Human Rights: Potentialities and pitfalls The rights of a 21st century person have the same moral standing as those of a 23rd century person. A detailed examination of discounting is important. Human rights perspectives tend to have a historical focus and to be ‘vertically integrated’ nationally. 5 Decisions by the UN human rights bodies are ‘recommendations’ which do not have the binding force of Court decisions. A rights-based approach could establish a per capita allocation on the equal rights and responsibilities of individuals 6.

7 Human Rights: Rights to development Without preservation of the right to development, a climate regime won’t gain political acceptance and becomes unfeasible. 7 ‘Ecological space’ describes a fundamental right under climate justice 8. If a rights-based regime such as Greenhouse Development Rights were to be adopted, institutions and mechanisms would need to be expanded to accumulate and channel resources 9. There is a caveat over a ‘right to development’ and similar individual rights which might be enshrined in an international treaty 10.

8 Human Rights: benefits There are many benefits from a rights-based approach: Promoting a shift in emphasis from the physical sciences 12 Drawing attention to vulnerable and marginalized social groups; 12 Enhancing equity in international decision-making 12 Encouraging more effective, fairer, and more sustainable policy 12 Emphasizing international cooperation, enabling interpretation of inter-state obligations 11. Responding to gaps in the existing climate change policy architecture 12.

9 Human Rights: Operationalizing into climate change Extrapolating from human rights law, it is logical to apply a similar set of obligations with regard to ‘climate rights’. There are issues of proof, however 13. Actionable human rights traditionally require a rights-holder and a duty-bearer 14. Human rights could be related to climate protection by : Including climate within existing human rights relating to the environment 15. Applying a human rights ‘optic’ to climate change 16. All environmental refugees should be included in a new law which is not specific to climatic refugees 17.

10 Human Rights and human security The UNDP’s 1994 Human Development Report shifted the concept of human security to a more human-centred approach 18. A human security approach could include the concept of remedies for injured parties within the UNFCCC framework, as envisaged for the Loss and Damage mechanism introduced in 2013 19. Adaptation and mitigation policy responses for the agricultural sector, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, could increase human security by reducing poverty, enhancing human capital and consolidating natural assets of land and water 20.

11 Climate Justice ‘Movement’

12 The main findings are: Climate Justice activism addresses the triple inequality of mitigation, responsibility and vulnerability, and argues strongly for resource sovereignty. The Climate Justice ‘Movement’ needs to be more unified and purposeful. The global poor are using rights discourses to demand climate justice, identifying key players and demanding action. Demands made at the Bali COP should be honoured. There needs to be a shift away from the focus on growth.

13 Climate Justice ‘Movement’ - activism Climate justice addresses the ‘triple inequality’ of mitigation, responsibility and vulnerability 21. Since 2002, climate justice activism has argued against, for instance, carbon emissions trading and carbon offsetting, stressing issues including peoples’ resource sovereignty and climate debt 22. The climate justice activist movement’s roots are located in the anti-globalisation protests and the formation in 2004 of the Durban Group for Climate Justice 23.

14 Climate Justice ‘Movement’- conceptual strands The demands of the ‘Climate Justice Now!’ Network at Bali 2007 represent conceptual strands worked upon by disparate parts of the movement: Reduce consumption Bring about North-South financial transfers to address historical responsibility / ecological debt Invest in renewables while disinvesting in fossil generation Set up rights-based resource conservation promoting indigenous sovereignty over natural resources Establish food sovereignty and agricultural sustainability.

15 Climate Justice ‘Movement’ - needs The Climate Justice ‘Movement’ needs to project greater unity of purpose and vision 24. Some commentators question whether climate justice can even be termed a social movement 25. Strategic bridges must be built between the climate justice and development communities 26. The climate justice movement rejects technocentric & market solutions in favour of reorganising society along more human-centred lines 27.

16 Climate Justice ‘Movement’: challenges The global poor are demanding climate justice for impacts being experienced, using rights discourses to identify those actors and forces responsible 29. One key challenge is the strengthening of capacity to engage with policy processes rather than being a countervailing voice of protest 30. Another challenge is to form institutions which can stand against neoliberalism 31.

17 Climate Justice ‘Movement’: ways forward There is a need to overcome the deeply ingrained focus upon growth within capitalism, through new means of democratising social relations 32. The movement's demands need to be strategized instead of ‘preaching to the anti-capitalist choir’ 33. Climate investment funds could have more globally representative structures 34.

18 Procedural Justice

19 The main findings are: Gender issues are currently being neglected and need to be integrated into international negotiations on climate. Stakeholders can exert little influence on development policies. Developing country scientists are under-represented in the IPCC. An understanding of the ways in which inequity functions at the highest levels will help to address the problem. In relation to REDD, for indigenous people acknowledgement of legal rights and better governance can do more than compensation money alone.

20 Procedural Justice: gender Gender issues are being side-lined within climate negotiations 35. Proceeding in a way which integrates gender and women’s participation is the only way to hold governments accountable 36. Gender and climate change experts need to assist in formulating policies which are either gender-neutral or help to advance gender equity 37. Women should be established as a distinct constituency within the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change 38.

21 Procedural Justice & development Little can be done by stakeholders to change big decisions on development policies that underpin public and private development 39. In relation to proposed developments, frequently only specific issues are up for discussion 40. More research is needed into social participation in decision-making over development 41. Possible solution: Create carbon-neutral committees, responsible for coordinating climate change mitigation measures within development proposals 42.

22 Procedural Justice at global level It is valuable to understand how at the highest level of climate negotiation inequity is operating and along what lines it does so in order to address and remedy the problem. The under-representation of developing country scientists needs to be addressed by the IPCC 43. Participation in the IPCC from countries where English was the primary language was 2 ½ times greater than from those in which it wasn't 44.

23 Procedural Justice and indigenous people With respect to REDD, the call from the indigenous community was not for money but for enhancement of their legal rights within their territories, and strengthened self-government 45. Redistributive justice is a means of addressing these issues. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should be functioning protectively to preclude destruction of indigenous resources 46.

24 Furtherance of linkages between environmental protection and human rights will benefit the climate justice agenda. A ‘right to environment’ in international law, as part of reconfiguring human rights into generalist and specialist rights, could be proposed. 47 A human security perspective based on human values and needs will change the direction of climate policymaking away from narrow national interests 48. While there are many potential benefits to the rights-based approach, measures to mitigate and adapt may also have human rights implications. Human Rights: Conclusions

25 Climate Justice ‘Movement’: Conclusions The movement needs to build bridges in terms of making connections with the development community. It needs to take a more strategic approach, including engaging with policy. It needs to build capacity and propose new institutions if it is to oppose neoliberal approaches to climate change It needs to start to modify power dynamics via such institutions - to reform and democratise global climate finance, for example.

26 Procedural Justice: Conclusions Education, self-organization and knowledge of civil rights are crucial for an effective social participation process 49. There needs to be a level playing field in the IPCC and UNFCCC both in relation to gender and to the representation of developing country scientists 50. The legal rights of indigenous peoples should be protected; research should investigate how indigenous groups could form connections with other groups concerned with equity and human rights 51.

27 Thank you!


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