Thinking about climate justice
Global warming, rising sea level, melting of ice are the alarming impacts of climate change.
The world's leading climate scientists believe that human activities are very likely the main cause of global warming since the mid-twentieth century. And it is not a matter of surprise that we humans are the foremost victim of climate change. So directly or indirectly our own rights are annihilated by us. Though the words climate change and global warming are used interchangeably there is a fine line between them. They just act as the means and ends of ignorant works done by a human.
According to an assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global temperature is increasing since the mid-20 century due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. The IPCC finds that warming in the last 100 years has caused about 0.74degree centigrade increase in global average temperature, which was 0.6degree centigrade. The report issued in 2018 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stated that the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.
Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centered approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable people and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts equitably and fairly. But the truth mentioned earlier that it only brings burdens. These consequences threaten rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), such as the right to security and the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and necessary social services.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international mechanism for facilitating international cooperation in stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of Green House Gases (GHGs). International cooperation means the sincere participation of every state
As human rights law has a crucial role to play in the further evolvement of climate justice, it is notable that even human rights law do not have complete universal enforceability.
The sovereignty of the States, the multi-cultural element, and many other factors add to the seemingly impossible task of an actual and real global enforcement of human rights. In Article 3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the international community recognizes that climate change is fundamentally an intergenerational problem. In its simplest form intergenerational equity can be understood as fairness between generations. To maintain this fairness ensuring climate justice is must because the present generation has a duty to think about the natural resources for a future one. So a conception of intergenerational equity is entirely consistent with a climate justice approach which links human rights as well.
It has been clear for a long time that human rights do have a connection with climate change but today's human rights regime is not sufficient for this. So an analytical framework is needed to evaluate current developments in human rights law to diminish inter-national, intra-societal and inter-generational climate injustice.
Tasmia Nur Washaka is a sophomore law student at University of Dhaka