UN rights expert: climate change poses heightened threat to impoverished persons

UN rights expert: climate change poses heightened threat to impoverished persons

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development Saad Alfarargi [official profile] said [press release] on Thursday that escalating climate change and the global economic crisis are posing increasing threats to the world’s impoverished persons. Alfarargi filed a report [text, PDF] with the UN Office of the High Commissioner in August in which he argued that the general negative impacts of the two converging crises are having the most dramatic impact on developing nations and the poor. Alfarargi focused his remarks on developing, landlocked nations and small islands. To combat these effects, Alfaragi is urging the UN, member organizations and grassroots organizations to focus on the “right to development” [materials]. The right to development, as described by the UN, is an attempt by the international community to ensure that the environmental and economic needs of developing nations are met. Alfarargi argued that as the climate continues to change and natural resources become increasingly scarce, nations around the world should concentrate their efforts on protecting the right to development for all persons. By mandate of the UN, Alfarargi will continue to monitor and regularly report on the state of the right to development around the world for the next three years.

According to many experts, climate change [JURIST backgrounder] as a result of global greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most pressing and controversial environmental issues facing the international community today. In November, for the first time in history, governments around the world agreed to legally binding limits on global temperature rises as the Paris Agreement on climate change became effective [JURIST report]. In October, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement, 55 parties making up more than 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, was achieved [JURIST report].