¿Sabes qué pasó? Weekly Newsletter September 11-17
Small island states take large greenhouse gas emitting countries to court
The small island states of the Pacific are increasingly affected by the adverse effects of the climate and environmental crisis. Rapidly rising sea levels and extreme weather events are threatening their very survival and, with it, the human rights of all their inhabitants.
In this way, they will bring the main countries with high emissions of polluting gases to court in the city of Hamburg. These states are petitioning the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to determine whether greenhouse gas emissions absorbed by the marine environment should be considered pollution. If so, obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea should include reducing carbon emissions and protecting marine environments already damaged by CO2 pollution.
This case, led by the Small Island States Commission on Climate Change and International Law, also seeks to provide guidance on the emissions reductions needed to meet the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C under the Paris Agreement.
Volker Türk supports recognition of “ecocide” as an international crime
UN High Commissioner Volker Türk expressed his support for the discussion on the inclusion of “ecocide”, which involves the destruction of the environment, as an international crime. A fact that would cause this type of activities to be judged by the International Criminal Court. In this way, Türk emphasized the need to end impunity for environmental damage at both the national and international level.
This systematic damage has triggered the current environmental crisis, which calls for ensuring accountability of those who have caused significant damage, whether they are individuals or companies.
In addition, Türk praised the efforts of several Amazonian countries to address environmental challenges and protect the rights of indigenous peoples in the region.
Tragedy in West Darfur: An urgent call for peace and protection of civilians
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, hundreds of people have been killed in ethnic attacks in West Darfur, and urges to avoid a repetition of this tragedy. This region of Sudan has been the scene of ethnic and territorial tensions for years, resulting in armed clashes and widespread violence.
The situation has further deteriorated due to the presence of paramilitary groups, such as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and their involvement in attacks against local communities. It warns of an increase in civilian casualties, with more than 1,500 deaths. Reports indicate that these attacks are indiscriminate, meaning that they are not limited to military targets, but also affect the civilian population, including women and children.
The crisis has paralyzed essential services, displacing more than five million people, one million of whom are seeking refuge in neighboring countries. The international community is seeking a ceasefire to provide humanitarian assistance, but faces blockades and attacks in affected areas.