11 Dec 2015

Pacific already losers in climate change

2:53 pm on 11 December 2015

UN rights experts say Pacific Islanders losing their homelands to encroaching seas show that human rights are already being violated by climate change.

At climate talks in Paris, experts called for strong language on respecting human rights and the rights of indigenous people to be included in the agreement.

Craig Mokhiber of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says the climate crisis is a human rights crisis and it needs to be addressed as such.

Children in Kiribati play on a partially submerged coconut trunk.

Children in Kiribati play on a partially submerged coconut trunk. Photo: Courtesy of UNICEF New Zealand

The U.N. Environment Programme said the far-reaching environmental impacts of climate change pose a threat to human rights, including the rights to health, food, water and adequate housing.

Experts told journalists in Paris that an outcome that would protect human rights should include a binding obligation to respect human rights in climate action, and a commitment to keep global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It says delivery of $100 billion a year in funding to help developing states deal with the effects of climate change should also be included.