Climate change – The greatest threat to human rights in the 21st century
Nature & The Environment
Climate change – the greatest threat to human rights in the 21st century
It is now beyond doubt that climate change adversely affects a broad range of human rights that are recognised and protected under international law. Rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, extreme weather and changing rainfall patterns are undermining an ever-increasing number of people's and communities’ rights to food, water, health, shelter, development, and life. For children, the dangers of climate change are particularly pronounced. Unicef has emphasised how this mounting global crisis represents one of the greatest threats to children around the world, undermining many of the gains made in child survival and development.
John H. Knox is the Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law at Wake Forest University, in North Carolina. In 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed him to be the first United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, and in 2015, it renewed his mandate for three years and changed his title to Special Rapporteu.