20 Nations Call To Strengthen 2 Degrees Climate Goal

“The reports underscore just how much difference even half a degree of additional heat makes for people’s lives, for working conditions and for the movement of people. How can we possibly subscribe to more than double current warming given what less than 1 °C has entailed?" says Secretary of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, H.E. Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering. Photo credit: Office of the President of  the Philippines, Climate Change Commission.

“The reports underscore just how much difference even half a degree of additional heat makes for people’s lives, for working conditions and for the movement of people. How can we possibly subscribe to more than double current warming given what less than 1 °C has entailed?" says Secretary of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, H.E. Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering. Photo credit: Office of the President of  the Philippines, Climate Change Commission.

The 20 states forming the Climate Vulnerable Forum, chaired by the Philippines, urged the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to reconsider the current 2 °Celsius* climate goal to be reaffirmed at the Paris climate summit (COP 21) this December. Presenting three new independent reports, the Forum qualified 2 °C as “inadequate”, posing serious threats for fundamental human rights, labour and migration and displacement, among other factors. 

“The reports underscore just how much difference even half a degree of additional heat makes for people’s lives, for working conditions and for the movement of people. How can we possibly subscribe to more than double current warming given what less than 1 °C has entailed? When we see that warming emissions from the energy sector actually stalled last year despite economic growth, or if we look at the unpredictable pace of low-carbon tech uptake, arguments not to strengthen our aims start to wear thin,” commented Secretary of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, H.E. Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering (Global FWN100 '13). 

The reports, produced by leading experts and scientists, emphasize the risks of allowing the increase of global temperatures to reach as high as 2 °C and connect climate change to human rights, the workplace and migration. Each report addresses information gaps under the UN climate convention’s 2013-2015 Review of the current internationally agreed goal to limit the rise in temperatures to not more than 2 °C. 

The 20-page report dealing with the effects of climate change on human rights examines the potential implications for the endangerment of fundamental rights under the current 2.0° C goal. The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment, Prof. John Knox, who led its production stated: “Even moving from one to two degrees of warming negatively affects the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights. It also makes it correspondingly more difficult for States to fulfill their obligations under international law to respect, protect and promote human rights.” 

To read more, click here.