UN adopts landmark climate-rights resolution
The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution by the tiny Pacific nation of Vanuatu to ask the world’s top court to consider the question of climate-related violations of human rights by nations and corporations.
The resolution, backed by a slew of states including Singapore, and adopted by consensus – that is, without a vote – asks the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to look into the obligations of big polluters to consider the human rights of those affected by the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions.
It applies particularly to vulnerable, poorer nations including low-lying island states, who, although they are among the least responsible for the crisis, are the most threatened by more intense storms and rising sea levels.
Decades of burning fossil fuels and deforestation are the main sources of emissions heating up the planet, driving extreme weather events and melting ice caps.