According to Michelle Bachelet, UN Human Rights Chief and former president of Chile, climate change poses an unprecedented threat to human rights.
Appearing before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Bachelet spoke to how a changing climate is affecting civil wars, mass migration, and natural disasters around the world.
“We are burning up our future — literally,” Bachelet said.
“The world has never seen a threat to human rights of this scope. This is not a situation where any country, any institution, any policymaker can stand on the sidelines.”
Connecting Climate Change And Human Rights
One way Bachelet says that climate change stands to impact human rights standing is through the degradation of arable land.
She says that, as food and water become more scarce, and tensions raise between warring factions abroad, emigration rises which, in turn, can put “migrants at heightened risk of human rights violations and abuses” due to border policies of countries such as the US and Mexico.
She also cited the Bahamas, the Atlantic archipelago just slammed by the effects of Hurricane Dorian, as an example of basic human rights are already falling by the wayside in the face of repeated environmental crisis.
This is not Bachelet’s first time breaching this subject, and she has been clear in establishing a sense of urgency — as was reflected in her writing published by The New York Times in December.
“The good news is that the urgency of our current environmental plight has accelerated our awareness,” she wrote.
“The bad news is that we’re already late. “
How does climate change impact your daily life? Let us know in the comments below!