Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment

Tom Carnahan
U.S. Representative to the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly
New York, New York
October 20, 2021


Special Rapporteur Boyd, thank you for your continued work.

The United States recognizes that environmental degradation impacts the enjoyment of human rights, and that, when taking action to address climate change, states must abide by their human rights obligations.

While states have different views about the content of international human rights law related to a healthy environment – and the U.S. views on this are well known – we share common goals to promote a healthy and sustainable environment, and support prioritizing the protection of those most vulnerable to climate change and environmental degradation.

To that end, the United States has redoubled its efforts to combat the climate crisis, fortify vulnerable communities, strengthen environmental government governance, and protect environmental defenders.

[We appreciate that your work as the Special Rapporteur has shone a spotlight on the situation of environmental defenders, and emphasizes the need for countries to take steps to protect environmental defenders, increase accountability for violence against them, and support the rule of law.]

Mr. Special Rapporteur: Based on your work, what do you see as the most effective steps to take to reduce violence against environmental defenders?