Climate change and human rights: climate change as an equity issue : welcome on Titanic: we are at the same boat but not in the same class

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Sramkova, Katarina
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This work investigates whether the current climate change should be considered as one of the core causes of fundamental economic and social rights violation, particularly within the poverty milieu. It argues that the extent of vulnerability to the climate change markedly depends upon the socio-economic status of affected people. Thus, the poor individuals and collectives on the societal margin are among the most harmed by the global warming. At the same time, it is shown that the poor de facto suffer burden of “double” human rights violation within the climate change era, as their dignity has been undermined already before the climate change took part “in the game”. Indeed, it is the issue of equity that arises in the context of climate changerelated human rights violation. Livelihoods and lives of all human beings have the same value and should be equally protected. Thus, all people have the same right to avoid increased impacts of the climate change in their dignity. In other words, everyone, regardless their socio-economic status has the same entitlement to basic needs and capabilities development. International climate policy, however, has tended to overlook this evidence. By neglecting the adaptation issue, it has ignored the ongoing global warming impacts on vulnerable humans. This study suggests that it is the high time this one dimensional, pro-mitigation approach towards climate change was changed. In fact, it says that “mitigation must, adaptation too”. Consequently, we should more concentrate on anticipatory adaptation potential building that is correlated with sustainable human-centred development promotion. The coming end of the Kyoto Protocol commitment in 2012 could open the door towards a more comprehensive, human- rather than market- oriented climate policy.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles.
climatic changes, economic social and cultural rights, environmental ethics, environmental responsibility