Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Update from Paris: Human rights in peril

Human rights should be intrinsic to climate action

As the UN marks Human Rights Day, we find ourselves in the disturbing place of needing to raise the importance of human rights language in the Paris climate agreement. In the latest draft of the agreement, all references to human rights are "bracketed," which means under threat of being deleted from the final agreement. This includes the rights of indigenous peoples, migrants, children, persons with disabilities, and people in vulnerable situations and under occupation. 

We are unstoppable, Another world is possible

The climate agreement is a key opportunity to protect the health and rights of communities most vulnerable to climate change.

Watch this 30-second video of a sit-in outside of the COP21 plenary rooms, demanding climate justice. You can hear us saying clearly "We are unstoppable. Another world is possible!"

As global temperatures and sea levels rise, and as weather patterns become more extreme, the rights to health, life, food, water and sanitation, housing—even to having a nationality—all are under threat.  The Paris Climate Summit is our opportunity to build a healthy, sustainable, and just future—by taking actions that protect the environment and people. 

To be successful, the Paris agreement needs to create mechanisms for financing actions that keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also needs to state that all parties to the agreement shall respect, protect, promote, and fulfill human rights, in all climate-related actions.

We need to lift our voices now for climate justice. 

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