FES New York – Perspective, September 2016
The author Ken Conca argues that the UN’s current approach to protect the environment has run up against the structural limitations of an increasingly globalized economy. Yet successful implementation of the Paris Climate Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals will require making human rights visible again and recognizing people as rights holders, not just stakeholders. Conca recommends that policy initiatives take into account extra-territorial impacts on local communities in other countries, especially those who are most vulnerable. Moreover, the UN’s rights machinery should be deployed to protect the rights and safety of environmental defenders who challenge governments and transnational economic agents.
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