Climate Change, Public Health & Human Rights
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Forthcoming 2022)
14 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2022 Last revised: 23 Oct 2022
Date Written: October 16, 2022
Climate change poses a cataclysmic threat to public health and human rights. Global health is inextricably linked to planetary health, with a changing climate influencing the conditions necessary for human health and safety while undermining a range of human rights. International legal agreements to mitigate emissions—from the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through the 2015 Paris Agreement and into the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact—have faced limitations in ameliorating the public health threats caused by the unfolding climate crisis. These inequitable health threats pose sweeping implications for health-related human rights, especially in low- and middle-income countries, with environmental degradation challenging the most fundamental conditions for human life and the individual rights of the most vulnerable populations. As public health concerns begin to be considered in climate change responses, human rights can provide a legal path to support international mitigation efforts and health system adaptation to address both the direct and indirect public health impacts of climate change. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health addresses the dynamic balance between global health and climate justice, bringing together policy analysis and empirical research to examine the public health threats of climate change and consider the human rights advancements necessary to frame policies for mitigation and adaptation.
Keywords: climate change, public health, human rights
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