Swedwatch joins new climate movement

ARTICLE | 18 September 2019

Swedwatch has joined a coalition of civil society groups building a global movement pledging to urgently scale-up joint efforts for climate justice.

The People’s Summit on Climate, Rights and Human Survival seeks to put the full force of the world’s human rights and environmental organisations, as well as diverse civil society groups, behind the climate justice movement.

It comes at a time of growing alarm about the impact of climate change – from extreme weather events to knock-on effects including increased conflict and violence against environmental defenders – which UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has described as the world’s biggest ever threat to human rights.

Swedwatch is one of the signatories to a summit declaration on uniting the efforts of diverse civil society groups working on the climate crisis in varying degrees. It pledges support to grassroots groups working for change, such as indigenous people, youth and communities living in poverty. It also commits the signatories to increasing pressure on governments and corporations to live up to their environmental and human rights commitments, as well as protecting and enabling human rights defenders.

“This is an extremely important initiative. Climate change is the greatest human rights challenge of our time, threatening the livelihoods and prosperity of communities and businesses across the globe,” said Swedwatch director Alice Blondel.

“We have stepped up our efforts to help address some of the greatest human rights and environment risks associated with climate change, and will work closely with affected communities and environmental human rights defenders to ensure that duty-bearers meet their obligations.”

The meeting, co-hosted by the UN Human Rights Office and several large non-governmental organisations, including Amnesty International and Greenpeace International, took place on 18-19 September, less than a week before the major 2019 UN Climate Change Summit.