Reducing vulnerability - A possible contribution of the human rights community to the conundrums of climate change
Abstract: The realisation that climate change will have serious effects on human life has activated the wider human rights community, which is now searching for an entrance into the global issue of our time. So far, most efforts by human rights practitioners have been concentrated on the overarching problem of global injustice, which relates to the right to development. However, in estimating the effects of climate change on human beings, the concept of vulnerability emerges as a key factor. By investigating the social dimensions of vulnerability, and by navigating a network of connected concepts, including poverty; climate change adaptation and human development, this essay suggests that the human rights community can contribute by reducing vulnerabilities to lessening the adverse effects on human beings from global warming. Above all, this means sticking to what it does best — namely safeguarding human dignity and equality in the relation between the individual and the state.
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