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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?”
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.
Analyse des Intersections entre le Changement Climatique et les Droits de l’Homme
Par Daniel Uribe Teran et Luis Fernando Rosales
Les effets du réchauffement climatique sur la vie quotidienne des êtres humains menacent la pleine jouissance de leurs droits. Le Conseil des droits de l’homme a adopté deux résolutions d’une portée historique, qui reconnaissent le droit de l’homme à un environnement propre, sain et durable (résolution 48/13), et nomment un rapporteur spécial chargé de la promotion et de la protection des droits de l’homme dans le contexte du changement climatique (résolution 48/14). Toutefois, un dialogue plus large entre la Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques (CCNUCC) et l’architecture de protection des droits de l’homme de l’ONU semble nécessaire en vue de parvenir à une réponse coordonnée et cohérente au réchauffement climatique et à ses effets sur les droits de l’homme.
Le présent document de recherche analyse les points de convergence entre ces deux mécanismes en mettant en avant de quelle manière les négociations sur le réchauffement climatique et l’architecture de protection des droits de l’homme peuvent contribuer à renforcer la coopération internationale. Il reconnaît également la nécessité de discussions plus approfondies au niveau international sur les liens entre droits de l’homme et réchauffement climatique, conformément aux principes d’équité et de responsabilités communes mais différenciées inclus dans la CCNUCC.
The Midterm Comprehensive Review of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development amid growing tension between a human rights perspective and the commodification and privatization of water
By Luis Fernando Rosales Lozada
Climate change is affecting the availability of water resources in different regions around the world. In addition, some growing trends towards water commodification and privatization could exacerbate the problem since they are guided by profit maximization strategies. The United Nations (UN) will hold the Midterm Comprehensive Review (MCR) of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028, from 22 to 24 March 2023. This is an important opportunity for the international community to assess the challenges on access to clean drinking water and sanitation. The MCR debates and outcomes should be guided by a human rights approach towards promoting access to water for all in 2030 in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.
Climate Finance Withholding Mechanism: Exploring a potential solution for climate finance needs of the developing countries
By Radhakishan Rawal
The developed countries’ commitment to provide climate finance to the developing countries has remained unfulfilled. The Climate Finance Withholding Mechanism (CFWM) is a potential solution for addressing climate finance needs of the developing countries. The CFWM adopts the well settled “withholding mechanism” under the tax laws to provide a steady flow of funds to the developing countries.
Multinational enterprises’ (MNEs) tax residents of developed countries earn income from the developing countries and pay tax on such income in the developed countries. The CFWM requires retention in the developing country, of the amount of tax so payable by the MNE, towards climate finance commitments of the developed countries. The CFWM does not result in additional tax outflow for the MNEs and also does not adversely impact taxing rights of the developed countries. The CFWM results in application of tax revenue of the developed countries towards their climate finance commitments. The CFWM does not address all the issues related to the climate finance problem but only attempts to speed up the flow of funds to the developing countries from where the relevant income originates.
27th CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES (COP27) OF THE UNFCCC
STATEMENT OF DR. CARLOS CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE
We all are aware of the magnitude of the climate crisis the world is facing. We are also aware that its impact is not the same for all countries and populations. The disasters we are witnessing affect most severely developing countries which historically have not been responsible for the emissions that put at risk the life in the planet. Those countries, the most affected, have the lowest capacity to address the devastating effects of climate change events and to adapt to and mitigate them.
Climate change is a cross-cutting issue. However, the international system operates in silos and has been incapable of ensuring the adoption of the multiple and coordinated policies necessary to address it. The South Centre, as an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, attaches particular importance to and focuses its work on the intersection of climate change policies with other policy frameworks.