ICSC lauds Philippines, Bangladesh, and Vietnam leadership in tabling landmark reso

MANILA, 15 July 2021 — A resolution on human rights and climate change was adopted yesterday by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva [1]. The resolution, initiated by the Philippines with Bangladesh and Vietnam since 2014, recognizes climate change as a human rights crisis, particularly among the most vulnerable.

It also paves the way for the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change to investigate the adverse effects of climate change on human rights, such as the right to food, to health, and to life. Forty-six HRC countries including the Philippines voted in favor of the resolution, with Russia as the lone abstention, as the Council wrapped up its 47th regular session.

Reacting to the adoption of the resolution, Denise Fontanilla, associate for policy advocacy of the Manila-based climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said:

“We congratulate the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Mission in Geneva for championing human rights and climate action, which led to yesterday’s adoption of the resolution. As a climate vulnerable country, we are heartened by the efforts of the Philippines and other members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) — particularly Bangladesh, Vietnam, and the Marshall Islands [2] — to address climate change on all fronts, mobilizing not only their climate and environment ministries but also their finance ministries and diplomatic missions.

“Countries vulnerable to climate change continue to lead the fight by offering financial instruments aimed at drawing down the cost of capital for transforming their economies, and by establishing the fact of massive human rights violations in the face of global inaction. The larger question is whether developed countries can live up to their so-called global leadership.

“Members of the CVF expect the upcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow to come out with a climate emergency pact and a Delivery Plan [3] to channel $500 billion over five years, without any loans, and at least half of which should go to adaptation. By failing to deliver the annual $100 billion they committed, developed countries are very much a party to the gross violation of human rights among communities that are deprived of the means to transition to resilient, low carbon development rapidly.”


[1] https://www.ungeneva.org/en/news-media/meeting-summary/2021/07/le-conseil-des-droits-de-lhomme-clot-les-travaux-de-sa-quarante
[2] https://thecvf.org/our-voice/news/press-releases/cvf-presidency-welcomes-the-un-human-rights-council-climate-resolution
[3] https://lorenlegarda.com.ph/legarda-calls-for-plan-to-deliver-500-billion-over-five-years-to-ensure-success-of-glasgow-climate-talks/

Ira Dominique Guerrero, media@icsc.ngo, +63 917 149 5649


 Photo from United Nations’ stream of the 47th Regular Session of the UNHRC.