The climate crisis is the biggest global threat to human rights we’ve seen in our lifetime. From burning forests to sweltering cities, parched farmlands to storm-battered coasts, climate change is taking a mounting toll on lives and livelihoods around the globe. Unless governments act boldly—and quickly—to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the situation could become unimaginably worse. Rising sea levels and massive food shortages could drive hundreds of millions of people from their homes. Conflicts over increasingly scarce resources could multiply exponentially, fueling violence, virulent nationalism, xenophobia, and authoritarian rule. The capacity of states to protect the rights of the most at-risk populations could be severely strained and, in many places, broken. Our ability to avert this dystopian future will likely depend, in large measure, on what governments do to uphold the rights of people today—those already enduring the impacts of climate change and those on the front lines of efforts to contain it.

News