Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Crisis point

Philip Alston clearly isn't a man to pull his punches. Having already delivered savage indictments of  the architects of austerity in the UK and those responsible for "the failure of society" in the US, the UN's special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights has turned his attention to the biggest threat we face collectively, climate change.

His report to the UN Human Rights Council predicts "climate apartheid", whereby the rich are able to insulate themselves from the effects of global warming while the poor face the brunt - a problem that will be exacerbated by the fact that climate change will have greater impact on developing countries than on those primarily responsible for it. Democracy and fundamental human rights will be under increasing pressure and threat, precarious food security will result in conflict, and there will be millions of displaced climate refugees.

These observations may not be anything substantially new, but the stark terms in which they're presented might hopefully prove to be a serious wake-up call for the various UN institutions, whose responses to the crisis Alston has branded "patently inadequate".

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