The UN Human Rights Council recognized this Friday, for the first time, that having a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a human right. In Resolution 48/13, the Council called on States around the world to work together, and with other partners, to implement this newly recognized right. The text, proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, was passed with 43 votes in favor and 4 abstentions—from Russia, India, China and Japan. At the same time, through a second resolution (48/14), the Council also increased its focus on the human rights impacts of climate change by establishing a Special Rapporteur dedicated specifically to that issue. The new resolution acknowledges the damage inflicted by climate change and environmental destruction on millions of people across the world. It also underlines that the most vulnerable segments of the population are more acutely impacted. The issue will now go to the UN General Assembly in New York, for further consideration.
By UN News. October 8, 2021.