1,010 land defenders have been killed since the Paris Agreement, hopes dim for action at COP26

Published by Brent Patterson on

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“Our Mother Earth – militarized, fenced-in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated – demands that we take action.” Lenca land defender Berta Cáceres was killed in March 2016, just weeks after the Paris Agreement was signed.

The Guardian reports: “The world is squandering the opportunity to ‘build back better’ from the Covid-19 pandemic, and faces disastrous temperature rises of at least 2.7C if countries fail to strengthen their climate pledges, according to a report from the UN.”

That article adds: “Tuesday’s publication warns that countries’ current pledges would reduce carbon by only about 7.5% by 2030, far less than the 45% cut scientists say is needed to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, the aim of the COP26 summit that opens in Glasgow this Sunday [October 31].”

Last month, The Guardian had also reported: “UN climate talks, billed as one of the last chances to stave off climate breakdown, will not produce the breakthrough needed to fulfil the aspiration of the Paris agreement, key players in the talks have conceded.”

The Paris Agreement reached at COP21 in December 2015 aimed to keep “a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

In March 2019, the UN Human Rights Council stated: “Human rights defenders, including environmental human rights defenders, must be ensured a safe and enabling environment to undertake their work free from hindrance and insecurity, in recognition of their important role in supporting States to fulfil their obligations under the Paris Agreement.”

And yet, Global Witness has documented that at least 1,010 land and environmental rights defenders have been killed since the Paris Agreement.

In the lead-up to COP26, the Global Women’s Assembly for Climate JusticeFridays for FutureGlobal Witness, 166 organizations, 45 women human rights defenders, and 8 youth climate activists have drawn attention to this situation.

PBI webinar, November 6

Peace Brigades International will be holding a webinar on COP26 and land defenders that will take place on Saturday November 6 at 1 pm EST (Ontario/Quebec) with simultaneous translation in English and Spanish.

This webinar will feature Danilo Rueda (Colombia), Nelly Madegwa (Kenya), Valeria Villalobos (Mexico), Juana Ramona Zuñiga (Honduras), Amaru Ruiz (Nicaragua) and Sandra Calel (Guatemala). It will also include a special introduction by United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment David R. Boyd.

To register for this webinar, please click here.

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