States Must Act on Climate Now: UN Expert Warns


States must take drastic action and accelerate climate ambitions without delay, in line with recommendations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN expert said today.

"I urge the big emitters to make more ambitious commitments ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in September 2023," said Ian Fry, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.

Citing the latest IPCC report, Fry expressed deep concern about the rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.

"As stated by the IPCC, climate change has caused widespread adverse impacts and associated losses and damages to nature and people, which are unequally distributed," he said.

"Climate change has a negative impact on human rights," the expert said. Fry argued that integrating human rights standards and principles into climate action would improve outcomes and empower the groups and peoples most affected. "As noted in the IPCC report, adaptation and mitigation actions that prioritise equity, social justice, climate justice, rights-based approaches and inclusiveness lead to more sustainable outcomes," he said.

The Special Rapporteur welcomed the Acceleration Agenda presented by the UN Secretary-General on 20 March 2023, including his recommendations on phasing out fossil fuels and achieving net zero, and on scaling up climate finance.

In a report to the 2022 General Assembly, Fry proposed recommendations for the establishment of a Loss and Damage Financing Facility and the creation of a group of financial experts who can develop new, innovative and dramatically scaled-up sources of finance to contribute to the new fund.

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