Environment and Sustainable Development

SC Input to OHCHR Report on Loss & Damage and Human Rights, 7 February 2024

Inputs for the analytical study on the impact of loss and damage from the adverse effects of climate change on the full enjoyment of human rights, pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 53/6 on human rights and climate change

31 January 2024

The adverse impacts of climate related loss & damage on human rights in the Global South require concrete actions. Our submission shows that a just and fair green transition requires protecting human rights while prioritizing the needs of developing countries, especially by providing climate finance, access to green tech and integrating human rights in climate actions.

See the inputs provided by South Centre to an upcoming study by the UN Secretary-General. The study will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2024.

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South Centre Statement for 3rd South Summit, 21-23 January 2024

Statement for the Third South Summit of the Group of 77 and China

Kampala, Uganda

21-23 January 2024

South Centre stressed that the theme of the G77 Summit ‘Leaving No One Behind ’ reflects the urgent needs and aspirations of the Global South towards meeting their Sustainable Development priorities.

The Centre highlighted the importance of South-South Cooperation for dealing with the most critical challenges of our time, eradicating poverty, healing and securing our planet, & shifting the world onto a sustainable and resilient path.

The South Centre stands ready to support developing countries and the G77+China to find common positions and mutual understanding in key areas of global governance and multilateral negotiations for effectively addressing the global crises that define our time.

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SC Submission to IACtHR, December 2023

Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Solicitud de Opinión Consultiva presentada por la República de Chile y la República de Colombia

Observaciones remitidas por el Centro Sur

Diciembre de 2023

In reference to the invitation extended by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to submit amicus briefs in the matter of the Request for Advisory Opinion submitted by the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Chile to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR or the Court) regarding the Climate Emergency and Human Rights. The South Center, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, respectfully submits to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights the following amicus brief at the request of the Advisory Opinion submitted by the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Colombia.

These observations consider how the definition of shared and differentiated obligations and responsibilities in the legal regime related to climate change is linked to the obligations to cooperate and make reparations arising from the American Convention on Human Rights and the need to consider the right to life and survival of the most affected regions and populations in the various countries and in the region.

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Research Paper 188, 7 December 2023

The Intersection Between Intellectual Property, Public Health and Access to Climate-Related Technologies

By Lívia Regina Batista

On the 20th anniversary of the Doha Declaration on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and Public Health adopted by the World Trade Organization, we realize that its impact is beyond issues of public health stricto sensu. The Doha Declaration has inspired discussions at the Council for TRIPS regarding access to climate-related technologies. Climate change is the main and most globalized environmental problem with adverse effects on public health, especially for the vulnerable communities in the Global-South. The main argument of the proponents of the discussion in the TRIPS Council is the need to rebalance public interests (such as public health and environmental/climate issues) with the private/economic interests of the most powerful countries and corporations. This debate addresses both the recognition of intellectual property rights as an important means for the promotion of technological innovation, and the required wider dissemination of technologies – be they medicines or climate-related technologies. This research paper explores the possibilities that the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration create for international transfer of climate-related technologies. Even though such discussions on climate-related technologies have initially failed in linking climate change and public health, as well as the rhetoric of human rights, the relevance of the topic remains. Besides that, the response to public health issues also must learn from the experience in climate change, such as the case studies evidencing the insufficiency and inefficiency of fast-tracking programs to provide for a wider dissemination of technologies – which have now been widely replicated to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Such comparison can also be an entrance point to discuss the public health implications for the international regime on climate change, highlighting that such issues are deeply intertwined, and need to be addressed jointly as well.

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SouthViews No. 255, 6 December 2023

Climate crisis: anthropocene or corporatocene?

By Dr S Faizi

The author  argues that the term ‘anthropocene’ to denote the period of the modern environmental crisis is hollow and a political digression from the reality, and that the crisis is a product of corporate exploitation of the earth’s system. Putting the blame on the entire human society for the environmental crisis is a Western ideological ploy to shield the corporate culprits who have caused the destruction on the strength of their capital and technology. He therefore proposes the term ‘corporatocene’ to mark the epoch of environmental crisis. If anything it is the Western colonization and the invention of the steam engine that are the markers of the start of the pandemic assault on the earth’s natural systems. Obfuscating the debate on this by introducing politically motivated substitutes will only frustrate the efforts to forge meaningful solutions to the climate crisis.

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SC Statement on COP28, 30 November 2023

THE WORLD EXPECTS COP28 TO AGREE ON CONCRETE CLIMATE ACTION

COP28 has raised expectations around the world that concrete actions will be taken to address the climate crisis, which is having devastating effects notably in developing countries. Read our statement:

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Research Paper 183, 15 September 2023

Least Developed Countries and Their Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals

By Peter Lunenborg

This Research Paper reviews Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs) collective progress on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on the available data on the indicators for the 169 SDG targets. It makes recommendations for LDCs and other States to consider advancing in relevant UN processes as well as the WTO’s.

LDCs made progress on 28% of the SDGs. This collective progress shows that these countries are far from achieving what were deemed achievable goals in 2015. With respect to trade-related SDGs, LDCs have not made progress on any of the five trade-related SDGs that mention LDCs specifically.

This paper does not delve into the causes of this gap, but it suggests that international cooperation and, particularly, the developed countries’ assistance, has been insufficient to address the needs of a large part of the world population that still lives in poverty and without hope of a better future. However, the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA), a development framework with targets specifically for LDCs -which overlap with SDG targets- appears to dilute several original SDG targets, in particular those in SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

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Call for papers on Operationalization of the Loss & Damage Fund for Climate Change

Call for papers on Operationalization of the Loss & Damage Fund for Climate Change

Deadline: 15th October 2023

Deadline for abstract proposal: 1st September 2023

This call invites established scholars, early career academics, PhD students and practitioners (policy makers, lawyers) to submit papers. An abstract should be submitted, with a CV of the author/s before September 1st.  The final paper should be submitted by October 15 following the format of a South Centre Research Paper. An honorarium of USD 1.000 will be offered for the best completed full paper that meet the standards of publication. Other accepted papers may also be published by the South Centre.

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Climate Finance Readiness E-book, July 2023

Climate Finance Readiness E-book

July 2023

The global landscape of climate finance is highly fragmented and complex, involving multiple pathways, actors, institutions, and instruments. Funds provided by developed countries to developing countries for climate adaptation and mitigation actions are channelled through various multilateral funds – both within and outside the scope of the operating entities of the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism.

Developing countries indisputably need climate finance to flow at a sufficient scale and in a timely manner. While the options and possibilities for countries to access climate finance are expected to increase, with a multitude of funding channels, this can also make the process even more complicated and confusing. Which funds to turn to? For which activities? At what costs? These are a few of the many questions that climate change decision-makers must contend with. Each fund is administered with complicated rules and procedures, which makes it very challenging for developing countries to navigate when seeking to fund their domestic climate actions. There is currently no ‘one-stop-shop’ to provide useful and quick answers.

The Climate Finance Readiness E-book is a series of short briefs prepared by the South Centre to provide developing countries with a «help desk» to access and more effectively and efficiently utilise the complex web of climate finance information available to them. This brief will be updated periodically and will shine a spotlight on different geographical areas. The South Centre welcomes questions, comments, and suggestions for this series of briefs to continuously improve its help desk function on Climate finance.

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SC Contribution – Call for Inputs by UN SR on HRs & Environment, 14 June 2023

Response to the Call for Inputs by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment

Should the interests of foreign investors trump the human right to a clean,
healthy and sustainable environment
?”

South Centre

14 June 2023

To realize the right to clean, healthy & sustainable environment and reduce ISDS risks, States need to align their FDI policies with human rights, climate action and SDGs, including via reform of the international investment regime.

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SC Submission to the Global Digital Compact, April 2023

Submission to the Global Digital Compact

Apply Human Rights Online

 South Centre

 Geneva, April 2023

The South Centre’s Board approved in September 2022 its Programme of Work 2023-2025 where the policy dimensions of digital transformation are highlighted as one of the priority areas for developing countries, including the need to harness digital technologies in education, health and the production of goods and services, support the development of a domestic digital industry, improve their digital infrastructure, advance digital equity and inclusion, effectively tax the digital companies and contribute to shaping the digital governance architecture to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Following the call made in the Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations (A/RES/75/1) for improved digital cooperation, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and his report ‘Our Common Future’, the South Centre submits the following written contribution to the UN Secretary General ahead to the Summit of the Future with the objective of providing support to developing countries in the intergovernmental process concerning the digital transformation.

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