Addressing the climate emergency and pressing sustainability issues requires rethinking the way in which the economy operates. Directing capital toward sustainable initiatives and divesting from harmful ones are key to building resilience for future generations. However, are ESG investments capable to fulfil these objectives under the current format?
The Russian aggression in Ukraine prompted the discussion on the scope of human rights obligations of business actors in times of armed conflict. Are they obliged to continue the provision of services in Ukraine? Can they suspend their activities, even if they provide essential services such as medicines?
The International Law Commission’s project on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters explicitly adopts a human rights-based approach to its core subject. Whether this will lead to harder forms of justiciability will largely depend on the capacity to frame disasters not as natural events but as both drivers and consequences of economic inequality.
A human rights-based approach to development must be used when approving new extractive projects in traditional First Nations territories. It will foster meaningful participation and address inequalities stemming from resource-based development while ensuring preparedness to deal with geopolitical and health challenges.
Bolivia, Argentina and Chile have the world’s largest reserves of lithium, a key resource for the energy transition from fossil fuels. However, intensive mining poses a major environmental risk for the region and the rights of indigenous communities.
The international community’s awareness of the growing occurrence of pandemics and comparable disasters emerges from instruments like the Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, the soft law nature of such tools leaves their implementation to the inconsistent ‘good faith’ of national actions.
Human rights crises emerge at the local level. Local governments are now at the forefront of human rights implementation and protection. A human rights-based approach to responding to the inevitable next emergency will depend on the preparedness of local governments.
The word crisis derives from krinomai, an ancient Greek word with meanings such as separating and sorting, but also distinguishing and deciding. A crisis creates a moment of truth and a possible wormhole to the future, to another future. Today, however, we are only acquainted with the negative connotation of this word. And that is unfortunate since a crisis can be so much more than a disaster.