Jan 27, 2016
6:30pm - 8:00pm    |    Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall , 40 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012

Valid ID and RSVP required. RSVP here or email anam.salem@nyu.edu.

Why Climate Change Policy is Human Rights Policy – and Vice Versa

Unaddressed climate change threatens development and the world’s ability to overcome poverty on a magnitude unknown in human history. From communities affected by rising sea levels and extreme weather events, to those facing severe drought and decreased crop production, lives and livelihoods are at risk.

In December 2015, political leaders from all around the world met in Paris and adopted a new global and ambitious agreement at COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Paris Agreement will have a determinative impact on the lives, prospects, dignity and rights of millions of people around the world.

In her talk UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, will address the human rights dimension of the Paris Agreement and its potential impact on the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. She will discuss the immense consequences of climate change for the enjoyment of human rights.  She will raise the issue of whether and how human rights can inform climate change policy development and implementation.

After the talk there will be time for Q&A.


About the speaker

c_figueres_v3Christiana Figueres has been Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change secretariat since 2010. She has worked extensively with governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector on climate change and sustainability issues, including as a board member of the Clean Development Mechanism, Vice-President of the Climate Change Conference, as well as many non-governmental organizations.

Ms Figueres has greatly contributed to literature on climate solutions and holds a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Massachusetts.  She was born in San José, Costa Rica in 1956 and has two daughters.


About the moderator

Philip AlstonMs. Figueres will be introduced by Prof. Philip Alston, CHRGJ Faculty Director, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, and U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.

Philip Alston is an international lawyer whose research and teaching interests focus primarily on Human Rights Law and the Law of International Organizations. In 2004 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights appointed him Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. In 2005 he was elected to chair the Annual Meeting of U.N. Human Rights Special Procedures, which brings together all of the Special Rapporteurs, Working Groups, Special Representatives and Independent Experts working on human rights in the U.N. system (almost 50 in total). Currently Alston serves as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.


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