On Human Rights Day, Legarda Renews Call for Climate Justice

December 10, 2015

As this year’s observance of International Human Rights Day coincides with a critical climate change conference in Paris, Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the urgent need to address the climate crisis as a way of upholding basic human rights.

Legarda, UN Global Champion for Resilience and chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said “the climate crisis is an all encompassing threat to our basic human rights – food, potable water, shelter, decent livelihood and life itself. If we are to uphold human rights, we must address climate change, not only by addressing its impacts but more importantly limiting global warming through deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Climate justice requires putting into place a human rights framework for climate change. We must protect the rights of the must vulnerable people and communities. I am hopeful that the 2015 Paris climate agreement will recognize the natural and indispensable link between human rights and climate change,” she added.

Legarda said that what the present generation is able to do today will determine the fate of the next generation.

“The average global temperature has risen by 0.8°C since 1880 and we are already experiencing unprecedented extreme weather events. We cannot afford to reach 2°C or higher because it will cause large risks to food and water security, severe impacts on health, biodiversity and survival,” she stressed.

On this note, the Senator hailed the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for launching an investigation against the world’s biggest polluters, including the largest fossil fuel companies, which are responsible for an estimated 65 percent of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions between 1751 and 2013. The CHR’s move is in response to the human rights petition spearheaded by vulnerable sectors, calamity survivors, Greenpeace, and other concerned groups.

“All persons have the right to ecological security and to live without fear of their homes, livelihoods and cultures being threatened with extinction because of the climate crisis. All persons have the right to life, and that includes the right to survive and thrive as human beings. We must seek climate justice because it is our human right. Humanity’s future depends on how much action we will take today,” Legarda concluded.