Human Rights Implications of COVID-19 Response Measures in the Context of Climate Change: Policy Brief – Global




The response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic poses a unique set of challenges and has triggered a response to the unprecedented global humanitarian and financial crisis, which still persists in many countries. Mobilizing resources to address the crisis offered an opportunity to advance human rights-based approaches to response and recovery policies that would support a just transition to more sustainable and equitable societies.

Overall, however, COVID-19 response measures lacked an interrelated perspective of human rights and environmental dimensions. A holistic, integrated and coherent approach to the pursuit of human rights-based economic, social and environmental goals was clearly lacking. Given the disproportionate effect of climate change and the pandemic on people and communities in situations of vulnerability or at risk, which has increased inequalities and reversed the progress made over the past three decades in reducing poverty, Climate finance and COVID-19 strategies should be designed to benefit human rights holders and address the structural causes of discrimination so that all can enjoy their human rights. There is an important place for synergies in this space. For example, the COVID-19 response and climate change adaptation measures both benefit from strengthening social protection networks in developing countries. Synergies are therefore not only normatively required, but empirically beneficial and, above all, within reach. This policy brief aims to inform actions and policies for integrated economic, social and environmental action with regard to the combined challenges posed by the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, and to share lessons learned that can promote a more coherent approach to the interconnected future. seizures.

The brief presents key initial findings from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) research on human rights and COVID-19 response measures in the context of climate finance ( based on a detailed study to be published shortly), and it formulates concrete recommendations for States/political decision-makers, development cooperation actors, climate funds, public international financial institutions and civil society. While existing studies have examined the impact of climate finance on human rights or examined the human rights implications of COVID-19 response measures, OHCHR’s brief, based on a study forthcoming, examines the interconnection of COVID-19 response measures, climate finance and human rights, and takes stock of what can be learned to build coherence in the pursuit of economic goals, social and environmental.

The OHCHR recommends in its study the integration of the human rights dimension through a human rights-based approach in a difficult context characterized by the need to allocate limited financial resources in the areas priority actions, such as climate action and COVID-19 response measures. Consistent application of a human rights-based approach in such demanding contexts underscores the specific relevance of several cross-cutting obligations, including the obligations to effectively mobilize financial and other resources, and to cooperate at the international level for the realization human rights. Although a universal definition of climate finance has not yet been agreed, for the purposes of this guidance note, OHCHR defines climate finance as financial resources mobilized to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. impacts of climate change, and to address the loss and damage associated with these changes. repercussions.


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