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?
A novel approach to environmental protection has emerged in the law, known as Rights of Nature (RoN). RoN proponents claim that nature is a legal subject possessing inherent rights. This ecocentric discourse shows striking similarities with human rights law.
Energy justice is a relatively new concept aimed at fair distribution of energy costs and benefits. Between oil-rich gulf and energy-poor MENA countries, energy justice, or lack thereof, overlaps with human rights, politics and international relations within and outside the region.
In the battle against COVID-19, a neglected but extremely knowledgeable voice is that of Indigenous or indigenising religions. These groups have both biological and spiritual insight that could contribute to the discussion around resiliency, behaviour adaptation and contributory environmental concerns.
‘We don’t call water a resource; we call it a sacred element. … [I]t’s about reciprocity. That’s the only way we are going to learn how to shift our culture from an extraction culture to a balanced and harmonious culture with the land.’ (Xiye Bastida, Mexican climate activist)
The term ‘intergenerational equity’ relates to the rights of ‘future generations’ which is often taken to refer to those ‘yet to be born’. Child/youth climate activists are however demonstrating that present children intersect with future generations, and that intergenerational rights are children’s rights.
Latin America and the Caribbean is the most insecure region for land and environmental defenders. States must be prepared to protect human rights defenders and implement public policies tackling the root causes of violence, including rethinking the extractive matrix.
Developing countries in Asia-Pacific, particularly the Pacific Islands, are at greatest risk from imminent climate change disaster, despite having contributed least to global warming. Industrialised nations must meet their pledges and support crucial mitigation and adaption strategies in the region.
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.
This poem by laureate Nnimmo Bassey reminds our global community that human rights preparedness also means fostering resilience through poetry, art and other means of expression. Art eases suffering, empowers, and advocates in times of emergency.