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Climate wrongs and human rights. Putting people at the heart of climate-change policy

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This briefing proposes that human rights principles provide a guideline for dealing with climate change. The document emphasises that the human rights community must become more engaged in national and international climate-policy debates and human rights law and institutions must evolve much faster to rise to the unprecedented international challenge that climate change creates. Most notably, it argues that:

mitigation policies must not violate vulnerable people's rights

the most affected populations must have an effective voice in setting mitigation targets and policies results in implementing mitigation targets should be reported publicly

countries must take emissions cuts in line with their responsibility for causing climate change and their capability to assist.

Based on human-rights principles, Oxfam calls for urgent action on the following hotspots to be addressed in policy making: Rich countries must:

lead in cutting global emissions

provide the finance needed for international adaptation to climate change and for low-carbon technologies in developing countries

halt their biofuel policies

Developing countries must:

focus their adaptation strategies on the most vulnerable groups

have ownership in managing international adaptation funds

Companies must:

call on governments to act with far greater urgency in cutting global emissions

help building communities’ climate resilience