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Climate change ‘dystopian future already here’, says UN rights chief

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the UN rights chief stated that climate change is already causing human rights emergencies in various countries.

Some of the key takeaways

  • Climate change is pushing millions into famine, destroying livelihoods, homes, and lives, with urgent warnings becoming deadly realities globally.
  • Emphasized the need to hold those responsible for environmental damage accountable and combat impunity.
  • Mentioned the dire environmental conditions in Basra, Iraq, with drought, extreme heat, pollution, and water scarcity leading to barren landscapes.
  • The G-20 failed to commit to a fossil fuel phase-out, which are desperately needed.
  • The increasing impact of climate change is causing a surge in migrant deaths, with many going unnoticed.
    • Cited specific incidents of migrant deaths in various regions, including the Mediterranean, English Channel, Bay of Bengal, Caribbean, U.S.-Mexican border, and Saudi border.
  • Expressed concerns about human rights violations in Russia, Pakistan, the Palestinian territory, and raised ongoing issues in China, particularly in Xinjiang.
    • Called for strong remedial action by Chinese authorities regarding the Xinjiang situation and highlighted the continued detention of human rights advocates.
  • Mentioned concerns about the situation in Iran, including harsher penalties for breaching dress codes and the deployment of morality police.
  • Stressed the role of climate change in various human rights situations, including in Africa’s Sahel region.
  • Welcomed the proposal to recognize “ecocide” as an international crime to counter environmental plunder.
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Ecocide,聽derived from Greek and Latin, translates to聽‘killing one’s home’ or ‘environment’.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Although there is currently聽no universally recognized legal description of ecocide,聽a group of lawyers convened by an NGO named聽Stop Ecocide Foundation in June 2021聽crafted a definition that聽would place environmental devastation within the same realm as crimes against humanity.

脴聽 According to their proposal, ecocide is defined as聽“unlawful or reckless actions carried out with the awareness that there exists a substantial probability of causing severe and either extensive or enduring harm to the environment.”

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