climate change is framed as human rights crisis cwa panel
During a panel discussion on Friday, the final day of the 75th Conference on World Affairs, United Nations Human Rights Officer Ben Schachter referred to inaction on climate change as the “grossest human rights violation” that humanity is currently facing.
Schachter works for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as a human rights officer and climate change specialist. In a panel discussion on “Enacting Climate Solutions Through Human Rights Climate Commitment” at the CWA, which took place on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder, he was one of six panellists.
See how Climate Change is Framed as Human Rights Crisis by CWA panel
According to Schachter, a human rights issue, climate change is harming people, affecting their rights, and getting worse without any significant action to stop it.
The most egregious violation of human rights imaginable, according to Schachter. “At the moment, the effects include hunger, a lack of water, displacement, and death. More than any other single cause of human rights violation that you can think of, these are all violations of human rights that are occurring on a massive scale.
In the final CWA panel presentation on Friday, Schacter and five other panellists discussed how climate change affects human rights on a local, state, national, and international level.
Everyone has the right to a safe, healthy environment, according to panellist James Anaya, an author, professor, and supporter of indigenous rights. He claimed that it was being violated.
Anaya declared, “We’re not where we need to be.
Rep. Joe Neguse, a Democrat from Colorado, took part in the panel as well. He spoke about national climate action in Congress, praising the Inflation Reduction Act as a significant step forward while acknowledging that much work remains.
Neguse said, “I think it’s instructive of what we can accomplish when we’re working together. We just passed the most significant climate change legislation in the history of our country less than nine months ago.
Governor Jared Polis appointed panellist Will Toor to the position of executive director of the Colorado Energy Office. According to Toor, there have been roughly 55 pieces of state climate legislation over the past four years covering topics like greenhouse gases, energy efficiency, renewable energy, oil and gas reform, transportation, building and land use efficiency, and more.
Toor admitted he was “pretty pessimistic” about the state of the planet a few years ago.
But after observing the development over the previous few years, Toor declared, “I’m much more optimistic than I’ve ever been.
Jonathan Koehn, a panellist, talked about local climate change concerns in the Boulder community. Koehn has been a leader on Boulder’s Climate Initiatives Team since 2006 and manages the city of Boulder’s Office of Environmental Affairs.
According to Koehn, Boulder has a history of funding and climate change initiatives not always seen in other cities. The most important goals, he claimed, are immeasurable even though the city has goals to limit emissions by a certain amount at certain times.
Koehn stated that “reduction of emissions alone is not sufficient in addressing the climate emergency.”
While not quantifiable, he said local cities, including Boulder, face challenges from the loss of biodiversity, the sacredness of the land, social injustices, and economic inequalities. Koehn added that Boulder has limited resources and is frequently dependent on regional and federal legislation for its legal authority.
The executive director of the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility at the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder is the panellist Kathryn Wendell. She spoke about the part businesses must play in resolving the climate crisis. She stated that although many businesses have not, many others have.
There are many issues that still need to be resolved, but Wendell expressed optimism about the commitments being made and excitement about the potential for more inventive public-private partnerships. He hoped the panel would spur action.
Because of its moral and ethical ramifications, according to Schachter, it is crucial to comprehend climate change as a human rights issue.
“The things that inspire people are not abstract concepts or abstract numbers. Impacts, empathy, and compassion are among them. said Schachter. Understanding the climate crisis as something that is caused by humans and can be stopped from perpetuating human suffering, in my opinion, is crucial.
Neguse expressed optimism for the future, and he attributed this optimism to the way regional communities, the state, and the nation have dealt with climate change over the past few years.
As I’m sure every American is, Neguse said, “I’m worried about the climate crisis and its effects, both in this country and around the world. “I have faith that we can find a solution. I’m hopeful that we can all work together to make a difference.