Tuesday, October 12, 2021
The U.N. Human Rights Council recognized for the first time on Friday, October 8, 2021, that having a clean, healthy, sustainable environment is a human right. Four countries abstained: Russia, India, China, and Japan.
The United States is not currently a member of the Council, so did not participate in the vote. However, Inside Climate News reported that the Biden Administration opposed the resolution behind the scenes, seeing it as an extension of the U.S.'s historic opposition to recognition of economic, social and cultural rights.
The U.N. Human Rights Council last week also established a new Special Rapporteurship on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.
For a great analysis of the Council's decision and other recent developments on the right to a healthy environment, see Maria Antonia Tigre's blog post released earlier today here.