UN declares access to a clean environment a human right

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UN declares access to a clean environment a human right

  • U.N. Human Rights Council recognised access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right.
  • The move formally adds its weight to the global fight against climate change and its devastating consequences.
  • The vote passed with overwhelming support, despite criticism from some countries, notably the United States and Britain.

About the Resolution for Right to clean Environment

  • World Health Organization estimates that some 13.7 million deaths a year, or around 24.3% of the global total, are due to environmental risks such as air pollution and chemical exposure.
  • The resolution, first discussed in the 1990s, is not legally binding but has the potential to shape global standards.
  • Lawyers involved in climate litigation say it could help them build arguments in cases involving the environment and human rights.
  • The text, proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, was passed with 43 votes in favour and 4 abstentions from Russia, India, China and Japan.

United Nations Human Rights Council

  • It is an inter-governmental body created in 2006 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) within the United Nations system.
  • It is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.
  • It is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UNGA periodically.
  • India was elected in January 2019 for a period of three years.