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Climate change and human rights

  • At the time of the Rio Conference, it had already become clear that climate change is far from being just an ecological issue; it is also an issue of equity. In particular, climate change was identified as an issue of intergenerational equity. It became ominously clear to observers that global warming, since it modifies important parameters of the ecology of the planet, such as sea levels or weather patterns, will affect the relations between present and future generations. Today's generation, by filling up the absorptive capacity of the atmosphere, lives at the expense of tomorrow's generation. At the same time, it came to the fore that the use of fossil fuels not only affects inter-generational equity, but also intra-generational equity,At the time of the Rio Conference, it had already become clear that climate change is far from being just an ecological issue; it is also an issue of equity. In particular, climate change was identified as an issue of intergenerational equity. It became ominously clear to observers that global warming, since it modifies important parameters of the ecology of the planet, such as sea levels or weather patterns, will affect the relations between present and future generations. Today's generation, by filling up the absorptive capacity of the atmosphere, lives at the expense of tomorrow's generation. At the same time, it came to the fore that the use of fossil fuels not only affects inter-generational equity, but also intra-generational equity, i.e., the relations between nations and social groups within a generation. Who will be allowed to reap the benefits from fossil fuel combustion? Who will have to carry the burden of emission abatement? Equity within a generation has at least two dimensions (Wuppertal Institute, 2005). First, it implies the fair distribution of burdens and benefits of fossil fuel use among nations. Secondly, however, it also implies the universal protection of human dignity by securing the fundamental rights of every human person to water, food, housing, and health. The article will focus on the latter dimension; it will explore the links between human rights and climate change, without, however, losing sight of the broader framework of equity in climate politics.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Part of a Book
Author:Wolfgang Sachs
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-24935
Publisher:Pontificia Academia Scientiarum
Place of Publication:Vatican City
Year of Publication:2006
Language:English
Source Title (English):Interactions between global change and human health : 31 October - 2 November 2004
First Page:349
Last Page:368
Release Date:2011/11/04
Division:Präsidialbereich
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence:License LogoIn Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt