JULY 20, 2010: Climate Change to Increase Human Rights Violations, Experts

Climate Change to Increase Human Rights Violations, Experts

SOURCE: New Vision

By Gerald Tenywa

Kampala — Uganda is among the countries where human rights violations are likely to increase due to failure to address the negative impacts of climate change, a leading climate activist has said.

Margret Wewerinke said poor countries like Uganda are spending large proportions of their incomes addressing the negative impacts of climate change. This, she said, had resulted into more poverty since resources have been diverted from priority interventions such as education and health.

Women and children, she said, were among the groups that will suffer more, walking long distances in search of firewood and water.

"We should not accept further human violations in less developed countries. Why should African countries accept climate change when they never even caused it?" she asked.

Consequently, she said less developed countries will not meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as reduced maternal mortality rates and hunger, and will not ensure environmental sustainability.

"African governments have to be clear and stress that the money meant for addressing climate change should be different from that for MDGs," she said.

She was speaking at Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala during a Workshop under the theme, "The struggle for climate change justice: Protecting our women and children against climate change."

It was organised by Climate Action Network-Uganda, Plan International and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

The civil society coalition will send its declaration to the African Union summit taking place at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

Ben Twinomugisha, a climate change activist, said effective participation in public policy processes would help address issues of climate change such as adaptation of agriculture to vagaries of climate change.

The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change started making technical assessments on climate change in the early 1990s.

The meeting on environment and development in Brazil in 1992, also referred to as the "Earth Summit", culminated into the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

This was followed by the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 obliging top global emitters to reduce their emissions by 5.2% of the 1990 levels.

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 and countries have since COP13 that took place in Bali, Indonesia four years ago been engaged in protracted discussions over Kyoto's successor.

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