Paris Agreement

On 12 December 2015, the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted the Paris Agreement, the most important climate agreement since the UNFCCC itself was adopted at the Rio Conference in 1992.  The climate negotiators affirmatively responded to the call of many to include a strong reference to human rights in the agreement, making it the first multilateral environmental agreement to explicitly recognize the importance of human rights.

After acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, the preamble states:  "Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity."