Areas of Work

Climate Change and Human Rights

QUNO advocates for rights-based approaches to climate policy to create more legitimate, coherent and sustainable climate action. 

QUNO advocates for the inclusion of human rights language in decision text at the international climate negotiations. This is based on the understanding that climate policy that protects human rights, and benefits people and nature, will be experienced by communities as more fair. Communities' positive experience of climate policy in turn results in increased chances for successful mitigation and adaptation efforts. 

At the Human Rights Council in Geneva, QUNO advocates for urgent and fair climate action to prevent the immense human rights abuses that are predicted to occur as a result of global temperature rise. Our work in this area is rooted in the belief that the right to a healthy environment forms a key part of the human rights of each and every person. Global environmental collapse was not imagined by authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet today such collapse is a reality.

We work alongside human rights colleagues from both the Geneva and international spheres, publish briefing papers on related topics, and hold side events in support of topics explored in the negotiations. We deliver statements at the Human Rights Council focused on the link between human rights and the protection of the natural world and prepare submissions to support work of the Special Rapporteurs. In our publications, we share information on how human rights law can support greater action on climate change. We are also on the Advisory Committee of the Platform for Disaster Displacement, formerly the Nansen Initiative.  

Recent Timeline Events

September 2023

Climate change Global Stocktake must focus on human rights

As the United Nations-led Global Stocktake is being finalised, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) has offered two submissions to this assessment of international action on climate change.

QUNO’s submission — available for download here — was made on behalf of the Quaker organisation, Friends World Committee for Consultation, which it represents at the United Nations (UN).


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January 2023

Quaker United Nations Summer School 2023 - Applications Now Open

We are excited to announce the return of summer school! This year's program will be in person for the first time since 2019. Our 12-day residential programme takes place at the heart of international governance in Geneva, Switzerland.  Summer school together a diverse group of individuals to learn about pressing international concerns, develop professional skills, and build a like-minded community. Participants will be equipped with the skills to think constructively about the value of the multilateral system and international politics while enjoying opportunities to discover Geneva.

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March 2022

QUNO Delivers Interventions on Behalf of FWCC at IPCC's 55th Session - Impacts , Adaptation, and Vulnerability

The Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva, under the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), is the only accredited faith-based observer organisation actively engaged at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  From 14-27 February, the IPCC held an intergovernmental meeting to finalise a Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of its report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.


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