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

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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November 2021

Lindsey Fielder Cook speaks from COP26 at the Opening Ceremony of Geneva Peace Week 2021

At the Opening Ceremony of Geneva Peace Week 2021, our Representative for Climate Change, Lindsey Fielder Cook was part of the speaker panel to discuss ways forward for environment, climate change and peace. 

Lindsey joined live from COP26 to implore the critical role of global, regional and local climate action to avoid catastrophic climate change, while emphasising that “climate change is symptomatic of a greater challenge of how to live sustainably and justly on earth.” 


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October 2021

QUNO Geneva presents its statement at the 48th Human Rights Council Session, calling for action on environmental injustice, the climate crisis, and highlighting inequalities for people of African descent


Building on the high emphasis of climate change on the High Commissioner's opening address to the 48th Human Rights Council (HRC) session, QUNO Geneva addressed the HRC under Item 9, addressing racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance; and follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.


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