U.S. Adviser to the Third Committee
New York, New York
October 21, 2022
Thank you, Special Rapporteur Boyd, for your work.
The United States has long recognized the relationship between human rights and environmental protection. We are committed to fighting climate change and reducing pollution, as well as advancing environmental justice for marginalized, underserved, and overburdened communities. To that end, the United States was proud to vote yes on General Assembly resolution entitled “The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment” on July 28th.
Internationally, we are elevating the importance of sustainable oceans and plastic pollution, which are just two examples of key issues of focus. We are proud to participate in multilateral fora, including the UN Environment Assembly and COP27, ready to take action to protect the environment and address climate change.
Our investments at home are also critical. The Inflation Reduction Act, [signed into law by President Biden], will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 billion metric tons in 2030, [an approximate 40% reduction in U.S. emissions from 2005 levels]. The Act will also make clean energy options more accessible, alleviate legacy pollution, and revitalize communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.
We also recognize that civil society and land and environmental defenders exercising their human rights and those most impacted by climate hazards increasingly face harassment, threats, and even death.
The United States is committed to working domestically and internationally to protect the environment and respect for human rights. We thank all those dedicated to this cause.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, what do you see as the immediate next steps needed to help us come to a shared understanding of a right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment?