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UN expert attacks ‘exploitative’ world economy in fight to save planet

  • UN expert attacks ‘exploitative’ world economy in fight to save planet

    Outgoing UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment from 2018 to 2024, David Boyd, says ‘there’s something wrong with our brains that we can’t understand how grave this is’:

    “I started out six years ago talking about the right to a healthy environment having the capacity to bring about systemic and transformative changes. But this powerful human right is up against an even more powerful force in the global economy, a system that is absolutely based on the exploitation of people and nature. And unless we change that fundamental system, then we’re just re-shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.” “The failure to take a human rights based approach to the climate crisis – and the biodiversity crisis and the air pollution crisis – has absolutely been the achilles heel of [anti-climate-change] efforts for decades. “I expect in the next three or four years, we will see court cases being brought challenging fossil fuel subsidies in some petro-states … These countries have said time and time again at the G7, at the G20, that they’re phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies. It’s time to hold them to their commitment. And I believe that human rights law is the vehicle that can do that. In a world beset by a climate emergency, fossil-fuel subsidies violate states’ fundamental, legally binding human rights obligations.” […] Boyd said: “There’s no place in the climate negotiations for fossil-fuel companies. There is no place in the plastic negotiations for plastic manufacturers. It just absolutely boggles my mind that anybody thinks they have a legitimate seat at the table. “It has driven me crazy in the past six years that governments are just oblivious to history. We know that the tobacco industry lied through their teeth for decades. The lead industry did the same. The asbestos industry did the same. The plastics industry has done the same. The pesticide industry has done the same.”

    (tags: human-rights law david-boyd un climate-change fossil-fuels)