Human Rights In The Paris Agreement Too Little Too Late


A recent study raises a related but unanswered question: how long will policymakers need to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption to meet the 2-degree target set by the Paris Agreement? From the turn of the century, the study analyzes when measures are needed to ensure that the world reaches the goal of the Paris Agreement in 2100. Scientists at the universities of Oxford in the United Kingdom and Utrecht in the Netherlands sketch out what they call the Point of No Return, the year in which even aggressive policies would probably not reach the goal of the Paris Agreement by the end of the century. Unlike previous studies, this research increases the picture: what would be the impact of risk tolerance of policy makers on the point of no return? This article examines the impact of the Paris Agreement on the human rights of communities that, because of their geographical location, their spiritual and cultural links to the land and the environmental environment, as well as their history of colonialism, expropriation and other forms of exploitation, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of human warming. It focuses on two groups: forest populations and people from small island developing states, threatened by rising sea levels. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change contains stand-alone articles on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), as well as on losses and damage. The main argument of this article is that the inclusion of human rights in the preamble to the Paris Agreement is a step forward, but that it is incompatible with the scale and urgency of climate change. 63 S. Huq – R. De Souza, `Not Fully Lost and Damaged: How Loss and Damage Fared in the Paris Agreement`, Wilson Center, 22 Dec. 2015, available at: www.wilsoncenter.org/article/not-fully-lost-and-damaged-how-loss-and-damage-fared-the-paris-agreement#sthash.6Fwm9e8R.dpuf. 75 UNFCCC Secretariat, Decision 1/CP.13, “Bali Action Plan,” doc. FCCC/CP/2007/6/Add.1, March 14, 2008, paragraph 1, point b) iii); See also UNFCCC secretariat, Decision 2/CP.13, “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries: Approaches to Stimulate Action,” UN Doc.

FCCC/CP/2007/6/Add.1, March 14, 2008. So what will the signing of the agreement do in New York? It is not clear. The agreement requires signatory states to develop plans to reduce greenhouse gases by 2030, but the plans presented so far remain below what is needed. Their global effect will limit global warming to only about 2.7 degrees Celsius. That is why nations need to update their plans every five years from 2020 in order to reach the target of less than 2 degrees. How they will reach that mark is crucial. But is it too little, too late? The agreement was an extraordinary achievement, but in the end it was only a non-binding agreement and everyone understood that the real challenge would be to work together to achieve the stated objectives of the agreement. The Truth Behind the Climate Pledges report comes a day after the U.S. State Department announced it would begin the formal process of exiting the agreement, following President Donald Trump`s announcement in June 2017.

Former President Barack Obama had already pledged to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025. 29 `What the Paris Climate Agreement Means for Indigenous Rights and Hydroelectric Dams`, EcoWatch, 14 Dec 2015, available at: ecowatch.com/2015/12/14/indigenous-rights-cop21.