Why We’re Involved
Climate change is a defining human rights issue at the intersection of environmental justice, racial justice, consumption and greed and natural resource protection.
Beyond Toxics has joined with a major network of international human rights advocates for a call-to-action for governments around the world. The guiding principles for this call-to-action are expressed in a Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change. The Declaration was drafted by the GNHRE*, the largest network of human and environmental rights scholars in the world. Combining new thinking and existing international human rights law, the Declaration presents foregrounds human rights while simultaneously protecting the rights of living systems from climate harms.
For us, supporting the Declaration is joining in a clarion call to governments to transform the climate debate and address the human rights implications of climate change. Our vision is for cities across Oregon and our state governor to be the first in the United States to adopt the Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change.
Three Reasons Why We Support This Declaration
The Top 3 Reasons Beyond Toxics urges you to be among the first to join Oregon’s grassroots movement to adopt the Declaration are:
1) It affirms the universality, interdependence of all human rights and the dependency of all life on Earth on a healthy biosphere and Earth system integrity.
2) It recognizes that climate change, caused by human industrial and consumer activities, disproportionately affects indigenous peoples, working class communities, woman and children, the vulnerable small island communities and future innumerable living beings and systems.
3) It requires that all human beings have the right to active, free, and meaningful participation in planning and decision-making activities, particularly including the rights of indigenous peoples, women and other under-represented groups to equality of meaningful participation. This includes the right for processes to be free of domination by powerful economic actors. This includes the rights of indigenous peoples to participate in the protection of their rights to their lands, territories, natural resources, tenure rights and cultural heritage.
Read the Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change (PDF) – (Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment)
Other Resources on Human Rights and Climate Change
- Read the commentary by Tom Kerns, PhD., one of the declaration’s authors and former Beyond Toxics board member
- The Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change: a new legal tool for global policy change (PDF), Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, Kirsten Davies, Sam Adelman, Anna Grear, Catherine Iorns Magallanes, Tom Kerns and S Ravi Rajan
Will you endorse the new Declaration on Human Rights & Climate Change? Fill out one of the forms below to register your support TODAY!
- Choose this form if you represent a business, non-profit or NGO
- Choose this form if you are an individual supporter
Organizations and businesses that have endorsed our Human Rights Declaration:
Our Revolution, Lane County
* About The Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment
The GNHRE was founded to pursue human and environmental justice through excellence in research, policy-making and practice. The GNHRE is composed of scholars from a range of disciplines including philosophy, ethno-ecology, human rights and environmental law and is dedicated to the transformation of thought and action in the face of the greatest challenges of the 21st century predicament—including climate change. The GNHRE is currently the largest international network of thinkers, researchers, policy-makers, opinion-formers and community activists in its field. The GNHRE constantly forges new conversations and relationships. It produces and exchanges thought leadership from world-leading scholars, bringing together top level research with insights drawn from community-embedded experience and praxis at the interface between human rights and the environment all over the world.
“The Declaration is statement by scholars across the world that our current approach to climate change is utterly inadequate in the face of this existential threat. Climate change is arguably the greatest human rights issue of all, and we call on every government to stand up as leaders in order to avert disaster—and to do so by questioning the ’taken-for-granted of the current framework of priorities.” – Anna Grear, Professor of Law and Theory at Cardiff Law School UK, and the founder and director of GNHRE