Launch of the book “Climate Change and Human Rights: contributions from and for Latin America and the Caribbean”

The event was attended by a high-level panel with the participation of the High Commissioner of OHCHR, Michelle Bachelet, and the Executive Secretary of

ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena.

December 09, 2019 — In the context of the COP25 held in Madrid, Spain, the book “Climate change and human rights: contributions from and for Latin America and the Caribbean” was launched, a joint publication produced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), with support from the EUROCLIMA+ programme.

The book is a joint effort that seeks to reflect the main human rights standards applicable to climate change. In addition, it highlights some of the most important advances that have been recorded in the region for the strengthening of such an essential perspective in climate action. The publication also emphasises the relationship between gender and climate change.

OHCHR High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet noted that “our report highlights a large number of human rights laws, policies and recommendations that are relevant to ensuring that actions to address climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean place human rights at the centre. The next critical step is to put these words into action, before it's too late,” she said.

For her part, Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said that “climate change is the biggest market failure in history, and the ultimate expression of intergenerational inequality. And we must not forget that the climate crisis is also a human rights crisis,” she said.

In this context, the executive secretary stressed the importance of this publication: “today’s launch of this book could not be more timely. It is a study that clearly reflects the relevance that the countries of our region give to the link between human rights and climate action. The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have been pioneers in strengthening the rights of everyone in the fight against climate change. They have led gender and indigenous peoples' initiatives and have notoriously adopted a human rights approach in their NDCs,” she said, highlighting the creation of the Escazú Agreement, an instrument for climate action and governance.   

For his part, Felicce Zaccheo, Head of the Regional Programmes Unit for Latin America, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Union, made closing remarks for the activity in which he reiterated the importance that this event has for the European Union (EU).

“This event supported by the EUROCLIMA+ programme is a sign of the EU's strong commitment to climate policies and human rights,” he said.

In addition, he pointed out that “climate change affects all human rights but those who will suffer te most from its impact are those with the least income, the most vulnerable people, women, indigenous peoples ... This will clearly pose a threat to social cohesion and peace,” explained the senior EU official.

In this regard, the head of the EU's Regional Programmes Unit for Latin America highlighted the role that EUROCLIMA+ has in supporting the countries of the region on climate governance issues.

“The programme is implementing climate governance instruments in different Latin American countries, such as, for example, the Country Roundtable, which addresses national challenges under the framework of the Paris Agreement,” he explained.

The event was also attended by Milciades Concepción, Minister of Environment of Panama; Lorena Aguilar Revelo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Protocol of Costa Rica; Gale Rigobert, Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender, Relations and Sustainable Development; Emmanuel Chamberlain, Chief, Environmental Sustainability Cluster, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); and the moderator was Joseluis Samaniego, Director of the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC.

More information


Complete video of this side event on the Facebook page of @EUROCLIMAplus


EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), French Development Agency (AFD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), the German society for international cooperation (GIZ), and UN Environment.


For more information about EUROCLIMA+, contact Alexandra Cortés: 

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Euroclima is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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