Bridgetown, Barbados – The historic climate hearings on the obligations of States to protect human rights from climate change and biodiversity loss will run from 23 to 25 April at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Civil Society, scientists and affected communities from the Americas will participate and present their oral arguments to the Court to assist in answering the advisory opinion request submitted by Chile and Colombia. 

Greenpeace International will present oral arguments together with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and other allies in their Amicus Brief submission. The submission highlights how business enterprises, chiefly in the fossil fuel and agro-industrial sectors, bear the bulk of responsibility for the climate and biodiversity crises. Specific emphasis will be made in the oral hearings on the State’s duty to regulate business enterprises and the independent duty of business enterprises themselves to respect human rights in the context of climate change and remedy the resulting harms and violations.   

Maria Alejandra Serra, Legal Counsel, Greenpeace International said: “To guarantee the effective enjoyment of any human rights under the American Convention and specifically the human right to a healthy environment, a stable climate is paramount. An effective regulation of businesses, which are also duty bearers of the obligation to respect human rights in the context of climate change, is of utmost importance.” 

Pablo Ramirez, Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace Mexico said: “Countless claims by communities around the world who have suffered too long from harms imposed on them by colonialist, extractivist business practices, are a testimony to how the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries are impairing the full exercise of all of our human rights and also how the States are failing to guarantee these basic but fundamental rights.”

On the heels of the herstoric win from the KlimaSeniorinnen before the European Court of Human Rights, these public hearings represent the first opportunity for a regional human rights court to consider the question of climate change, State and non-State actors’ responsibilities to respect human rights in a non-contentious case. The community of El Bosque in Mexico, one of the first to be displaced by the rising sea levels and relocated due to climate change in the Americas region, will participate in the hearings in Manaus, Brazil on 27-29 May 2024. 


Photos and Videos can be accessed from the Greenpeace Media Library.


[1] As part of the groundbreaking Advisory Opinion process, Greenpeace International, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), and the New York University School of Law’s Climate Law Accelerator (CLX) submitted a joint Amicus brief to the Court focused on corporate accountability for the climate crisis. More information can be found in the Amicus brief.


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