Greenpeace International participates in the historic process of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Advisory Opinion on the Climate Emergency and Human Rights

Greenpeace International together with a coalition submitted an amicus brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

In January 2023, Colombia and Chile submitted an Advisory Opinion Request before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, asking the Court to further clarify the foundations and scope of the human rights that are affected by the climate emergency and the State’s obligations in this context, in light of international human rights law. 

As part of the groundbreaking Advisory Opinion process, Greenpeace International, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Open Society Justice Initiative, and the New York University School of Law’s Climate Law Accelerator submitted a joint amicus brief to the Court on the obligations of States and business enterprises to respect human rights in the context of the climate crisis.

The brief outlines the physical and socio-political activities of the fossil fuel and agro-industries driving climate change and States’ human rights obligations to protect against and regulate these activities. Taking into consideration the known causes and the foreseeable and already occurring consequences of climate change, the brief also details why business enterprises have, under human rights law, an obligation to respect human rights independent of the duties of States. The submission addresses the requirement for both States and businesses to remedy any harms and violations of human rights resulting from their actions. 

The amicus brief highlights testimonies from the El Bosque Community from Tabasco, México, one of the first communities to be displaced by climate change impacts and to obtain relocation based on climate reasons in the Americas region. These testimonies underscore the urgent need for global action to mitigate climate change and protect the rights and well-being of impacted communities worldwide.

Greenpeace International coalition and the El Bosque Community, supported by Greenpeace Mexico then participated in the oral hearings at the Inter-American Court in Barbados and Brazil.

Greenpeace International and co-authors in the amicus brief presented oral pleadings at the Inter-American Court in Bridgetown, Barbados on 24 April 2024. In their intervention, they asked the Court to stop the legacy of impunity for the fossil fuel and agribusiness industry and their destructive and deceitful practices.

Full text of Oral Pleadings as delivered IACtHR  

Full video intervention in the hearing of the Advisory Opinion on Climate Emergency and Human Rights. 

The community of El Bosque also participated in the hearings in Manaus, Brazil on 28 May 2024. Watch their powerful intervention in the hearing of the Advisory Opinion on Climate Emergency and Human Rights.

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