Some countries withdrawing support for the plan put forward by the United Nations include the United Kingdom and the United States, which recognize the safe and healthy environment as a human right and criticize it for being undermined. Their own promises ahead of the Glasgow Climate Conference.
The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council is expected to adopt the resolution by this weekend, despite opposition parties calling for a referendum, as support is high, including Costa Rica, Malvinas and Switzerland.
Environmental activists say the resolution will put pressure on countries to join the more than 100 countries that have already recognized the legal right to a healthier environment. Although the resolution is not binding, prosecutors say it will shape the rules and help activists formulate arguments in climate-related cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 13.7 million deaths, or 24.3% of all, are caused by environmental hazards, such as air pollution and exposure to chemical agents.
“Nationwide, this right empowers people, especially those vulnerable to environmental damage or climate change, to make a difference and hold governments accountable,” said Mark Limon of the Universal Rights Group think tank.
“This may explain why some governments, such as the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom, do not like him.”
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