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Investigate Fikile Ntshangase’s Murder and Hold Killers Responsible

One year ago Fikile Ntshangase, an environmental activist from South Africa, was gunned down in her home in Somkhele in KwaZulu-Natal province, after raising concerns about a coal mine in the area. No arrests have been made. Today, members of her…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
News

Yegorov Protested Moscow’s Trash Pouring into His Community

Yesterday, a court in the city of Kolomna, Russia sentenced Viacheslav Yegorov to 15 months in prison for repeatedly taking part in peaceful protests in 2018 against the “import” of trash from Moscow. It is ironic that this sentence came less than a…
Vyacheslav Yegorov at Kolomna court, 2021
News

Governments at COP26 Should Follow Suit

Less than three weeks ahead of the global COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow, two key United Nations human rights bodies in Geneva have taken action to strengthen the human rights framework around the climate crisis. The decisions are a clear…
Dry climate and wildfires create a residual layer of thick pollutants that cover the city of São Paulo, Brazil on September 17, 2020.
News

Governments Should Prioritize Addressing Global Environmental Crisis

When the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke to the UN Human Rights Council at the beginning of its current session, three weeks ago, she told governments: “Addressing the world's triple environmental crisis is a…
A woman walks through a flooded street during heavy rains in Mumbai, India on June 12, 2021.
News

Over 1,300 Climate Marches Planned Around the Globe

On Friday, September 24, young climate activists from around the world will be marching once again to call on governments to cut carbon emissions and tackle the climate crisis. Millions marched in 2019, but this will be the first time since the start…
Youth Climate March
News

Beijing Should Phase Out Existing Projects at Home

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that the Chinese government would “not build new coal-fired power projects abroad” and would instead “step up support for other developing countries in developing green…
Chinese-built Java 7 coal-fired power plant in Serang, Banten, Indonesia, October 2020.
News

High Temperatures Top Weather-Related Killer in US

The administration of US President Joe Biden announced yesterday a major interagency initiative to respond to the impacts of extreme heat in the United States. This effort, which closely follows the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, will seek to…
Workers harvest cantaloupe on a farm during a drought in Firebaugh, California, US, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
News

Storm Highlights Need for Inclusive Disaster Planning in the US

Hurricane Ida made landfall in the southern US state of Louisiana last week, leaving thousands of people displaced and millions without power or access to other resources. Among those most at risk during the storm and in its aftermath have been people…
Occupants prepare to depart the Renaissance Place senior living apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on September 3, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
News

International Community Should Push for Results in Curbing Deforestation, Protecting Rights

As fires rage in the Brazilian Amazon, environment minister Joaquim Leite announced that the government has doubled the budget for environmental law enforcement and will recruit 700 new enforcement agents.  Leite presented these measures as…
Fires near Novo Progresso, Brazil on August 23, 2020, burned land deforested by cattle farmers.
News

Long Chlorpyrifos Battle Highlights Need for Regulation Reform

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, in response to a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, banned use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos on food crops, 14 years after public interest groups first…
Migrant Farmworkers from Central and South America load fresh-picked corn into trays at Southern Hill Farms on April 21, 2020, in Clermont, Florida.
News

Government Should Include Pregnant People in Heat Action and Climate Adaptation Plans

As the UK bakes in record-setting temperatures, its meteorological service issued its first-ever extreme heat warning this week. Public Health England extended its own heat health alert through July 23, as soaring day- and night-time temperatures…
A woman walks under a parasol to shelter from the sun in Birmingham, U.K., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The U.K.'s Met Office has issued its first-ever Extreme Heat weather warning, stating that continuing high temperatures will lead to public health impacts.
News

Inclusive Climate Action and Planning Needed after 12 Perish

On July 15, twelve people with disabilities living in a group home drowned in floods in Sinzig, Germany, because they did not manage to evacuate in time. This is not the first time people with disabilities in group homes died during a climate…
The “Lebenshilfe-Haus” or ‘assisted-living facility”, where twelve people with disabilities drowned in floods on July 15, 2021.
News

Addressing Climate Crisis Requires Immediate Action

Yesterday more than 200 groups sent a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council urging member states to establish a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change. Creating such a post for an independent expert would…
After years of very little rainfall, the lakebed of Suesca lagoon sits dry and cracked, in Suesca, Colombia, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
News

Decision to Provide Authoritative Guidance to Governments is Long Overdue

Children are facing the harmful consequences of poor environmental policies on a daily basis. A shocking 1.7 million children under age five lose their lives every year as a result of avoidable environmental degradation. Millions more experience…
A girl surrounded by land devastated by Cyclone Amphan in Satkhira
News

Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
News

One of Many Countries Waking Up to the Dangers of Chlorpyrifos

Last week, the Canadian government quietly released a three-year plan to phase out use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. As Human Rights Watch has reported, the health risks associated with exposure to chlorpyrifos are well-documented. These…
Works plant strawberries farming quebec
News

Environmental Groups Hope Case Will Force Government Action on Emissions

When you approach the town of Secunda in the coal-rich province of Mpumalanga in eastern South Africa, the toxic smell of air emanating from the cluster of coal-fired power stations hits you long-before before you see the town. I spent last week in…
Fence line communities near Duvha Power Station, Mpumalanga, South Africa. 
News

Evidence of Impact Mounts, Action is Needed

Mother’s Day in the United States is typically associated with spring, and new life. But because of the climate crisis, Mother’s Day also heralds hotter summers with more and longer heat waves, worsening North Atlantic hurricane season, and…
Farmworkers, considered essential workers under the current Covid-19 pandemic guidelines, work a strawberry field in Santa Paula, California, April 15, 2020. 
News

Government Ordered to Protect Future Generations

In a landmark decision issued today, Germany’s top court found lawmakers have a human rights obligation to protect people from the effects of climate change. The court ruled that a German 2019 climate change law does not adequately regulate greenhouse…
Illustration of a windmill with leaves for blades
News

More Ambitious Measures Needed to Protect Human Rights

At the US Climate Summit today, top ten greenhouse gas emitter Canada announced its long-awaited new emissions reduction target for 2030. While Canada has been at pains to present itself as a climate leader and ally alongside the US, with the new…
Justin Trudeau