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Need to Protect Communities’ Rights in Importing Countries

Last week, the European Commission proposed new rules governing waste shipments from EU countries. The regulation could be good news for communities around the world impacted by European plastic waste exports. Currently, many EU governments ship…
A pile of garbage and waste next to a road
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“Nothing about us without us” – that was the call from the indigenous rights advocate Ghazali Ohorella from the Alifuru people in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia during a panel at the climate summit in Glasgow.  This plea was echoed by many…
Georgina Wabano and her mother cooking traditional food for school children in Peawanuck, ON, December 18, 2019. : © 2019 Daron Donahue
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Activists, disappointed about UN rebuff, take the fight to COP26

When the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child decided in October it could not move forward with a climate crisis petition, I received a message from Raina Ivanova, one of the 16 youth who had brought the case. “We are all very disappointed,” she…
child petitioners who filed a complaint before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
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Call for Visionary Leadership at COP26 to Face Climate Emergency

Brianna Fruean, a 23-year-old Samoan activist, put it simply when addressing world leaders at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26): “We are not drowning; we are fighting.” The youth climate movement is present and vocal in Glasgow, both…
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, demonstrates with others in front of the Standard and Chartered Bank during a climate protest in London, England, October 29, 2021
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Activists at COP26 Side Event Demand Recognition

“Disabled people won’t survive climate change if it isn’t in the plan for us to do so. And you can’t plan without us.” These were the words of Gabrielle Peters, a disabled policy analyst from Canada, during a side event at the United Nations…
Exterior of the COP26 Climate conference, showing the event banner.
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The climate crisis is taking a mounting toll on lives, health, and livelihoods of people around the world. States have a human rights obligation to protect people from the foreseeable harms we face from climate change, and to avert the most…
A view of the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, November 1, 2021. 
News

Governments Should Recognize Militaries as Greenhouse Gas Emitters

The armies, navies, and air forces of the world are significant greenhouse gas emitters and contribute to the climate crisis taking a growing toll on the lives, health, and livelihoods of people globally. With all eyes on Glasgow this week as world…
Soldiers in military tanks
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Still Major Emitter Despite Coal Phase Out Announcements

“Glasgow must be the COP that consigns coal to history.” Those were the words in July of Alok Sharma, president of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26). With world leaders gathered in Glasgow this week, the need to phase out coal has never…
Steam billows out of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Huai'an in east China's Jiangsu province, July 20, 2021.
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COP 26 Forest Deal Signatories Need to Align Policies with Agreement’s Goals to Deliver Results

More than 100 countries have signed on to the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030, announced on November 2 at the COP26 global climate summit. With deforestation the…
Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil.
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A parent’s desire to protect their child from harm is a universally shared emotion. Whether you are raising your children in the suburbs of Perth or in the Gaza Strip, every parent has that instinct embedded deep in their bones. Working as a…
Students call for urgent climate action during the school strike for climate in Perth, Australia.
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Rights Should be at Center of COP26 Climate Deliberations

As world leaders gather in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) this week, the stakes could not be higher. From burning forests to sweltering cities, parched farmlands to storm-battered coasts, the climate crisis is taking a…
A forest fire rages in Santo Antonio do Matupi, southern Amazonas state, Brazil, August 27, 2019.
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In the leadup to the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, COP26, the United Kingdom has sought to position itself as a leader in global efforts to end government support for fossil fuels. The UK’s Special Envoy to COP26, John Murton, announced…
Pumpjacks at an oil well site near Epping, N.D., Oct. 1, 2018. © 2018 Jim Wilson/The New York Times/GDA via AP Images
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Demand — for lumber, meat, soybeans, and other goods — is driving deforestation around the world. And China is a major customer.

“We need to have deep reverence for nature,” China’s President Xi Jinping told a crucial summit on biodiversity earlier this month. Yet he failed to mention that the Chinese government allows the import of millions of tons of beef, soy, and…
Fires near Novo Progresso, Brazil on August 23, 2020, burned land deforested by cattle farmers.
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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.
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“For weeks, the smoke covers the sky,” a doctor told me last year, when we investigated how forest fires affect the health of Brazilians in the Amazon. Thousands of people in Indigenous and Ribeirinho communities living on the banks of one…
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