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Safeguarding Human Rights in the Context of Climate Change


A reading to learn about the effects of climate change on human rights, governmental responsibility in addressing these human rights issues, assessment of actions implemented, and recommendations on integrating human rights considerations with climate adaptation and mitigation actions.

Students will read about, understand, and discuss the impact of climate change on human rights in the context of ecosystems and natural resources; human settlements; and livelihoods, health, and security. They will also learn about specific governmental obligations to protect human rights of different groups of people in the context of the environment and climate change. Further, students will read about mechanisms to evaluate the measures that address human rights considerations, and will learn about recommendations to better integrate human rights into climate-specific actions at the national and international level.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Discuss the human rights that are affected by the impact of climate change on freshwater resources and terrestrial ecosystems.
  2. What are the impacts of climate change on livelihood, health, and security? Which human rights are affected in these scenarios?
  3. With regard to the environmental impacts of governmental activities, what are the procedural obligations imposed on governments by human rights law?
About Tool
Tool Name Climate Change and Human Rights
Discipline Humanities, Social Sciences  
Topic(s) in Discipline Human Rights, Public Policy, Environmental Justice
Climate Topic Policy, Politics, and Environmental Governance
Type of tool Reading
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University 
Hosted at Columbia University 
Access Online/Offline
Computer Skills Basic


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