Climate change and human rights
We recognize that climate change is a shared global problem with significant impacts on the economy, development, and security. Canada’s international assistance seeks to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
We recognize the importance of understanding the links between climate change and human rights. This includes looking for solutions to the many impacts of climate change that are:
Impacts of climate change
Canada understands the impacts of climate change can have destabilizing effects on societies. For instance more frequent drought-induced food insecurity will have an effect on the protection of human rights.
Climate change can worsen existing situations of poverty and fragility and create new vulnerabilities for:
- Indigenous groups
- persons with disabilities
Climate change must be addressed to achieve sustainable development.
Climate change and migration
Through its effect on the environment climate change can also be a contributing factor to increased migration. This is due to the rising frequency, severity, and slow onset of environmental changes.
Addressing climate change is essential to reducing poverty and achieving inclusive sustainable development.
The effect of climate change on human rights
Climate change-associated drought, flooding and severe weather could create adverse effects on the right to an adequate standard of living. There are impacts to health as a result of decreasing:
- access to safe drinking water
- basic sanitation
- access to food
Climate change may also have negative effects across the spectrum of recognized international human rights norms. It creates competition and conflict over basic resources, leading to scarcity-driven human migration.
For more on what the Government of Canada is doing on Climate Change, check out Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website.
The Paris Agreement
On December 12, 2015, Canada and 194 other countries adopted the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is an ambitious and balanced agreement to fight against climate change.
It aims to strengthen efforts to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2℃ and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5℃.
Canada advocated that language on human rights, and specifically the rights of Indigenous people, be included in the Paris Agreement.
To find out more about the Paris Agreement, consult the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- Date Modified: