Climate change and human rights

© 2014 Brent Stirton for Human Rights Watch

Climate change and its associated impacts – higher global temperatures, rising water levels, and increasingly frequent and extreme weather events – pose significant threats to people around the world. These threats are not just long-term, but are already being felt here and now. They particularly affect people in the global South, who are already struggling to access their rights to water, food, shelter, livelihood, and culture. Climate change policies adopted by governments at the national and international level raise a range of human rights concerns. Hence, it is crucial that human rights remain front and centre at international climate change negotiations such as the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP23).


This series examines the role of human rights in climate advocacy and the challenges activists face in this space. What exactly are the opportunities and challenges for human rights advocacy surrounding climate change? How can humans rights be further incorporated into climate negotiations and advocacy?

Collaborating Guest Editors (2017): Human Rights Watch’s Environment and Human Rights Division