Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment 28th June 2019
UN Expert Report predicts ‘Climate apartheid’
Governments urged to act without delay
The UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, has dramatically highlighted the failure of governments, UN treaty bodies to recognise the impact of climate change on poverty and its social consequences in his recent report to the UN Human Rights Council, according to the environmental charity Friends of the Irish Environment.
The Report demonstrates that ‘while people in poverty are responsible for just a fraction of global emissions, they will bear the brunt of climate change, and have the least capacity to protect themselves. We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.’
Quoting Pope Frances, the Report reiterates that failure to take urgent action would be ‘a brutal act of injustice toward the poor and future generations.’ It says that current responses to global warming are ‘patently inadequate’ and ‘premised on forms of incremental managerialism and proceduralism which are entirely disproportionate to the urgency and magnitude of the threat.’
Pointing out that climate change threatens to undo 50 years of progress in development global health and poverty reduction, the Report says that States are failing to meet even their current inadequate commitments to reduce carbon emissions and provide climate financing while continuing to subsidise the fossil fuel industry with $5.2 trillion per year. It cites the International Monetary Fund’s calculations that ‘Efficient fossil fuel pricing in 2015 would have reduced global carbon emissions by 28 percent.’ Instead, emissions are still rising.’
In its conclusion, the Report states that ‘The human rights community, with a few notable exceptions, has been every bit as complacent as most governments in the face of the ultimate challenge to mankind represented by climate change.’
Friends of the Irish Environment, says ‘that this new report makes clear that governments, both individually and collectively, need to take responsibility for implementing a comprehensive transformative program aimed at mitigation that does not further penalise the poor, or bring additional poverty about.'
‘If we are serious about human rights, we will also design our climate action plans in a way that protects those in or at risk of poverty due to climate change at home and abroad.’
Clodagh Daly 086 1555581
Sadhbh O Neill 087 2258599
David Healy (Irish language): 087 6178852
Copyright © 2019 Friends of the Irish Environment, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Friends of the Irish Environment
Eyeries, Cork P75 CX53