Invitation to Participate in New Climate Change and Human Rights Course

How Climate Change Affects Human Rights. Photo: OHCHR
How Climate Change Affects Human Rights. Photo: OHCHR

Increased awareness and education on human rights and climate change are essential for effective, rights-based climate action that benefits people and the planet.

The general public is invited to participate in a newly launched introductory online course on climate change and human rights. The seven-part course can be completed at any time and aims to provide participants with tools to better understand and act on climate change and human rights challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

The course demonstrates the importance of rights-based, participatory climate action. Human rights obligations require the international community to take more ambitious action to reduce emissions, to support resilience that benefits persons, groups and peoples in vulnerable situations, and to address loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change.

“The climate crisis is the biggest threat to our survival as a species and is already threatening human rights around the world,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

From hurricanes affecting communities in the Caribbean, to sea level rise threatening lives and livelihoods across the Pacific, heat waves and droughts across Europe, and people displaced in the context of extreme weather events, floods and droughts, the effects of climate change are already impacting human rights, including the rights to food, water and sanitation, decent shelter, health, personal security, and even life itself.

Climate change disproportionately affects the world’s most disadvantaged people – those who are the poorest, most exposed and have the least resources to withstand climate shocks and stresses such as extreme weather events. Climate action that is not anchored in a human rights-based approach risks further violating human rights.

Increased awareness and education on human rights and climate change are essential for effective, rights-based climate action that benefits people and the planet. Responding to this need, the Paris Committee on Capacity-Building (PCCB), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UN Climate Change have collaborated in the development of an introductory course on climate change and human rights, with support from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, (BMZ), implemented by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ). 

The new course is hosted on the UNCC Learn Platform.

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Rakesh Raman