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Monday, November 26
 

3:00pm

What human rights responsibilities apply to businesses with respect to climate change?
Interpretation is provided into Spanish

Organized by OHCHR

Brief description of the session:
 This session will explore the responsibilities of businesses with respect to climate change, mitigation and adaptation. Businesses must be accountable for their climate impacts, participate responsibly in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts with full respect for human rights, and exercise human rights due diligence in the course of their activities. States must also ensure that their own business activities, including activities conducted in partnership with the private sector, contribute to mitigating climate change while respecting human rights, and ensuring effective remedies for climate and human rights harms. Businesses and governments should go beyond simply avoiding climate harms and actively work to promote development that benefits both people and planet.

Session objectives:
 Raise awareness of business responsibilities related to human rights and climate change.
 Identify good practices and concrete solutions to human rights challenges faced by businesses in the context of climate change.

Key discussion questions
 1. What is the responsibility of the private sector for climate change?
2. What does a rights-based approach to climate action look like for companies? What responsibilities does the private sector have to limit their carbon footprint (e.g. human right due diligence)?  
3. How can companies be held accountable for climate-related human rights harms?

Background to the discussion:
 Climate change is a key challenge facing the global community, and one that impacts, directly and indirectly, an array of internationally guaranteed human rights. Private actors, including businesses, contribute significantly to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and thus contribute to the impacts of climate change on human rights. At the same time, international agreements, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing for Development, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recognize that private actors must play a significant role in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and in ensuring development that is truly sustainable and in line with the vision elaborated in the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development.

Today, global attention is increasingly trained on the impact that businesses have on the enjoyment of human rights around the world, and businesses are increasingly aware of human rights as both a risk factor and as a moral and legal imperative. Despite strong understanding of the links between climate change and human rights, climate change and business, and business and human rights, there is a lack of action to ensure business accountability for climate change.


Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
SR

Sandra Ratjen

Franciscans International

Speakers
NB

Nnimmo Bassey

Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation
Environmental justice and human rights advocate. Concerned about corporate and governance/justice issues in the extractives and food sectors.
avatar for Roberto Cadiz

Roberto Cadiz

Commissioner, Philippines Commission on Human Rights
Commissioner Eugenio Roberto T. Cadiz is the focal commissioner for Business and Human Rights; Environment; Suffrage and Civic Participation; International Humanitarian Law; Human Rights Defenders; Peace; and Sustainable Development Goals, at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of... Read More →
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Surya Deva is an Associate Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong. He holds BA (Hons), LLB and LLM from the University of Delhi and a PhD from Sydney Law School, and has taught previously at the University of Delhi and at the National Law Institute University... Read More →
avatar for Eniko Horvath

Eniko Horvath

Senior Researcher, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
My work focuses on the links between climate actions and human rights (including strengthening renewable energy sector's respect for human rights) and efforts to strengthen business respect for human rights in Europe.
avatar for Lucielle Paru

Lucielle Paru

Liaison Officer, Alliance of Solwara Warriors / Papua Land Rights Council
I am.an Activist from Papua New Guinea and for the past decade have raised ussues, awareness and lobbied with the Government and Opposition of our Country PNG. At current the major issues I work on are: Banninh of Deep Sea Mining in PNG, The Controversial Asylum Seekers issue of Manus... Read More →
avatar for Guillermo Pickering

Guillermo Pickering

Chairman of the board, Aguas Andinas
Guillermo Pickering de la Fuente is a prominent Chilean lawyer who has held high positions in both the public and private sectors. He is currently President of Aguas Andinas, the most important water utility and sewage management company in Chile, and President of the Association... Read More →


Monday November 26, 2018 3:00pm - 4:20pm
Room XXI

4:40pm

How can climate actions respect rights & contribute to peacebuilding in the transition to a green economy?
Interpretation is provided in English, French and Spanish

Organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Brief description of the session:
Shifting to renewable energy is a fundamental part of the transition towards green economy. The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and the SDGs both underline the necessity of a transition toward a sustainable, zero-carbon future for all as a human rights imperative. If undertaken responsibly, this transition has the potential to contribute to peacebuilding and a rights-respecting energy system. However, if managed without human rights in mind, it carries risks harming lives and livelihoods, as well as causing financial and legal costs for companies and investors. In order for it to be successful this transition has to be a Just Transition, leaving no one behind and maximizing climate protection as well as minimizing the risks and hardships for workers and communities.
This session focuses on how companies can ensure their climate actions respect human rights and benefit from the transformative potential of the transition to a green economy. It will unpack the concept of a green economy, explore the concept of a just transition away from fossil fuels in a way that respects the rights of workers and communities, and address how we can support a model of renewable energy that contributes to peacebuilding, provides decent jobs throughout its supply chain, and respects the rights of indigenous communities.

Session Objectives:
  •  Provide participants with space to discuss what a green economy and a just transition entail in the context of companies’ responsibility to respect human rights
  • Share with participants ways in which rights-based climate action can be a positive force for peacebuilding
  • Explore factors that contribute to best practice examples of just transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy

Format of the session:
  • Recap of outcomes of previous session "What related human rights responsibilities apply to businesses with respect to climate change?" and introduction of session (15 mins)
  • World Café Round 1 (tables 1 and 2) in key question "cafes" (25 mins)
  • Rotation and World Café 2 Round 2 (tables 3 and 4) in key question "cafes" (25 mins)
  •  Report back from cafes to plenary (15 mins)

Key questions for discussions in World Cafes1 
World Cafe Table 1:
Guiding question: How can a rights-based approach to climate action contribute to peacebuilding?
Facilitator: Hannah Peters, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Resource person: Justine Taylor, Quaker United Nations Office
World Cafe Table 2:
Guiding question: What do we mean by a green economy? How does our current economic model contribute to climate change and how can we address this in a rights-based way?
Facilitator: Eniko Horvath, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Resource Person: Elena Espinoza, Principles for Responsible Investment
World Cafe Table 3: 
Guiding question: What do we mean by a just transition to a low-carbon economy? How can a radical reduction of fossil fuels be managed in a just way?
 Facilitator: Nabylah Abo Dehman, Principles for Responsible Investment
 Resource Person: Philip Gass, International Institute for Sustainable Development
World Cafe Table 4:
Guiding question: How can renewable energy companies ensure their operations respect human rights? What role do investors and companies buying renewable energy have?
Facilitator: Isobel Edwards, Researcher
Resource Person: Melissa Ortiz Massó, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Bacground to the discussion:
Climate change is a key challenge facing the global community, and one that impacts, directly and indirectly, an array of internationally guaranteed human rights. Private actors, including businesses, contribute significantly to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and thus contribute to the impacts of climate change on human rights. At the same time, international agreements, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing for Development, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recognize that private actors must play a significant role in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and in ensuring development that is truly sustainable and in line with the vision elaborated in the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development.
 Today, global attention is increasingly trained on the impact that businesses have on the enjoyment of human rights around the world, and businesses are increasingly aware of human rights as both a risk factor and as a moral and legal imperative. Despite strong understanding of the links between climate change and human rights, climate change and business, and business and human rights, there is a lack of action to implement proposed solutions to the challenges faced by the private sector in the context of climate change.


LIGHT REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED PRIOR TO THE EVENT

Speakers
avatar for Nabylah Abo dehman

Nabylah Abo dehman

Manager, Social Issues, Principles for Responsible Investment
avatar for Elena Espinoza

Elena Espinoza

Manager, Social Issues, Principles for Responsible Investment
PG

Philip Gass

Senior Policy Analyst, IISD
Philip Gass is a Senior Policy Advisor, Energy and Lead, Indonesia with the Energy program, specializing in climate change and energy policy at the sub-national and national level in North America and Indonesia, and international developments within the UNFCCC process.His recent work... Read More →
avatar for Eniko Horvath

Eniko Horvath

Senior Researcher, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
My work focuses on the links between climate actions and human rights (including strengthening renewable energy sector's respect for human rights) and efforts to strengthen business respect for human rights in Europe.
avatar for Melissa Ortiz Massó

Melissa Ortiz Massó

Regional Researcher Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Business & Human Rights Resource Center
Love to learn about other regions and how business & communities and human rights defenders are interacting.Will love to hear about the successful and positive experience.I work in a difficult but interesting area with a lot of improvement opportunities.
avatar for Justine Taylor

Justine Taylor

At this event I will be speaking about how a human rights approach to climate change can contribute to peacebuilding.


Monday November 26, 2018 4:40pm - 6:00pm
Room XXI