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Tuesday, November 23 • 15:15 - 16:30
Climate change, the environment and reaching net zero – realizing the right to a healthy environment

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The interlinkages between human rights and the environment are increasingly recognized both globally and nationally. On 8th October the UN Human Rights Council last night adopted a resolution that – for the first time in history - recognizes the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This a watershed moment for international environmental law, and environmental justice. While 80% of Member States already recognize the right at the national level, the resolution elevates this to the international level. It formally places the right alongside other universal human rights recognized under international law. This resolution will serve as a catalyst in helping the world to address the triple planetary crisis. It can embolden and support governments, legislators, courts, and citizen groups around the globe to take further actions to implement their right to a healthy environment. It helps crystalize the legal entitlements of rights holders, clarify obligations of duty bearers and trigger accelerated environmental actions. It anchors the work of environmental defenders squarely in the human rights framework, and the legitimacy it confers can help protect those persecuted for the activism. Recognition of this right has implications for business and the way in which business activities are carried out to ensure that the right to a healthy environment is upheld. The private sector play an important role as duty bearers to uphold and respect environmental rights, especially for vulnerable groups including children, including in formal, informal, and transboundary business activities. While there is now strong momentum within the global business community towards an emphasis on embedding the principles of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) into business planning and operations, work still needs to be done on conveying the urgent collective actions by businesses to address the triple planetary crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss in line with international human rights standards.
Many businesses are stepping up their actions recognizing the need for a fundamental shift, for action to tackle the planetary crises. Such actions also need to address human rights and the environment. This session will explore the interlinkages between business activities and the realization of the human right to a healthy environment. It will also explore the fundamental importance of the role of individuals and groups who work to protect the environment and the relationship between the private sector and these groups including environmental human rights defenders.

This session aims to:
  • Provide space for discussion on the role of business in realising the right to a healthy environment;
  • Showcase good examples of businesses leading the way in adopting businesses practices that tackle the planetary crises with human-rights and gender equality objectives; and
  • Explore the shared vision of a healthy planet for current and future generations and opportunities for collaborative action between the private sector and other stakeholders, including EHRDs, to achieve this vision.

Session organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

avatar for Georgina Lloyd

Georgina Lloyd

Regional Coordinator (Asia and the Pacific) of Environmental Law and Governance, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Dr. Georgina Lloyd Rivera is the Regional Coordinator (Asia and the Pacific) of Environmental Law and Governance for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Georgina’s works cover the areas of environmental rights, environmental crime, technical assistance in environmental... Read More →

avatar for Jacki Johnson

Jacki Johnson

Advisor for Climate and Sustainability, Insurance Australia Group
Jacki is passionate about the role finance can play in ensuring a sustainable and resilient Australia. Jacki recently retired from her Group Executive role with Insurance Australia Group and is now an advisor to the Group on Climate, Sustainability and Resilience. In this capacity... Read More →
avatar for Lavetanalagi Seru

Lavetanalagi Seru

Climate Justice Activist, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network/ Alliance for Future Generations - Fiji
Lavetanalagi Seru is a climate justice activist, and has a background in youth development, gender, human rights & SOGIESC inclusion in disaster risk reduction & humanitarian action. He is currently the Climate Justice Project Officer for the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network... Read More →
avatar for Noelene


Executive Director, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA)
Noelene Nabulivou, Executive Director, DIVA for Equality, Convenor, Women Defend Commons Network, Pacific Feminist Activist.Noelene is a lesbian feminist community organiser, analyst, educator and activist working for socio-economic, ecological and climate justice and universal... Read More →

Tuesday November 23, 2021 15:15 - 16:30 GMT+12