The 2024 Geneva Dialogues on Human Rights and Climate Change built on previous editions to discuss how Geneva-based human rights institutions can contribute to further advancing human rights-based climate action and are organized by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), Earthjustice, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Geneva Office, the Geneva Environment Network, with the support of the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

About this Session

The intensification of climate change-related extreme and slow-onset events constitutes one of the greatest threats to human rights. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned, an increase above 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels in global average temperatures would lead to ecosystem collapse and jeopardize the livelihoods of millions of people. Effectively addressing climate harm requires States to take meaningful measures to stop greenhouse gas emissions, tackle the impacts of climate change, and address related losses and damages, in a way that is grounded in human rights and takes into account intersecting forms of discrimination and marginalization. In this context, ensuring safe and meaningful participation of affected communities, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples in relevant policy spaces is essential to achieve ambitious and equitable climate action.

The Human Rights Council, Special Procedures, and Human Rights Treaty Bodies are playing a pivotal role in identifying the rights and specific groups that are affected in the context of climate change, as well as the relevant obligations of States to advance human rights while addressing the triple planetary crisis. States have the duty to translate the wealth of guidance and recommendations that have been developed into effective policies and measures on the ground to ensure that climate action responds to the needs of the most marginalized individuals and communities. At the same time, Geneva-based human rights mechanisms should further engage with international, regional, and national processes that have the potential to further clarify and refine human rights obligations with regard to climate change, such as regional discussions on human rights and the environment in ASEAN and the Council of Europe, national climate law and policy development, and the ongoing climate advisory opinion processes before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea and the Interamerican Court of Human Rights.

The 2024 Geneva Dialogues on Human Rights and Climate Change built on previous editions to discuss how Geneva-based human rights institutions can contribute to further advancing human rights-based climate action. Topics of discussion this year will include States’ obligations to tackle climate impacts; mechanisms and approaches to address ongoing loss and damage; meaningful protection of environmental defenders in the context of climate conferences; and ongoing advisory opinion processes before international and regional courts. Panelists and participants will also explore how Geneva-based human rights mechanisms can inform the ongoing advisory opinions before international courts and tribunals, and how these mechanisms can build on the outcomes of such processes. The newly appointed Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change Elisa Morgera attended in person.

The 2024 Geneva Dialogues were organized by the Center for International Environmental Law, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, Earthjustice, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Geneva Office, and the Geneva Environment Network with the support of the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Panelists and participants will include State representatives, Special Procedures mandate holders, members of Human Rights Treaty Bodies, representatives of civil society organizations and Indigenous Peoples, and UN officials.

The event was be followed by a light reception.

Speakers

By order of intervention.

Luc DOCKENDORF

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

Ira GIBSON

Program Officer, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Geneva Office

Elisa MORGERA

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change

H.E. Amb. Phan Dung MAI

Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

Benjamin SCHACHTER

Coordinator, Environment and Climate Change Team, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Nahla HAIDAR

Member, Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Yves LADOR

Representative of Earthjustice to the United Nations in Geneva

H.E. Amb. Sumbue ANTAS

Permanent Representative of Vanuatu to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

H.E. Amb. Carlos SORRETA

Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

H.E. Amb. Gustavo GALLÓN

Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva

Patrícia GALVÃO TELES

Director of Legal Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal

Hajer GUELDICH

Legal Counsel, African Union

Liliana ÁVILA

Director, Human Rights and Environment Program, Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA)

Nicole PONCE

Steering Committee member, World Youth for Climate Justice

Francesca MINGRONE

Staff Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law | Moderator

Highlights

Video

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