During the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council, SGI, together with other members of the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, the Environment and Human Rights, issued a written and an oral statement calling for the establishment of such a special procedures mandate on human rights and climate change. While acknowledging the ongoing efforts of the Council in responding to the climate crisis, it currently lacks the means to address it in a comprehensive way, including clarifying States’ legal obligations or providing effective support to States and affected communities. Because the current climate crisis has been further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased urgency for the Council to address the issue in a more permanent and sustained manner.
On 8 September, SGI co-sponsored a virtual briefing organized by the Center of International Environmental Law, Franciscans International and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung titled “Enhancing the response of the UN Human Rights Council to climate change: Towards the appointment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change.” The event brought together the representatives of Bangladesh, the Marshall Islands, and Fiji, key voices from the Climate Vulnerable Forum, together with Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. It aimed to enhance understanding across civil society and Indigenous Peoples organizations towards mobilizing broad support for the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change.