Human Rights, Climate Change, Fossil Fuels and Civil Society

Who are the Carbon Majors?

Blog post by Julie-Anne Richards, the Climate Justice Programme’s Manager of International Policy:

Last week I participated in the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre’s event on Climate Change and International Human Rights Law.  Below are my speaking notes.

“My name is Julie-Anne Richards, and I’m here today partly in my capacity as Oxfam and also as Climate Justice Programme.  Oxfam needs no introduction.  Climate Justice Programme has been working in this area for a long time.  In 2003 CJP sent letters formally placing the major polluters and emitters of greenhouse gases on notice, reminding them of their potential legal liability if they failed to address the risks of climate change posed by their activities.  CJP also commissioned the Carbon Majors work – more on that later.
I feel the need to start with a reality check:
With less than 1 degree of warming we have already gone beyond the most vulnerable people’s capacity to adapt to climate change.


The worst-ever typhoon (Haiyan) has wreaked devastation in the Philippines, possibly the worst cyclone in the Pacific (Pam) destroyed or damaged 80% of buildings in Vanuatu;  increasingly severe droughts in Africa and the Middle East have resulted in hunger, people forced off their land and conflict;  floods here in the UK and elsewhere;  the heat wave baking India right now has so far killed 1,000 people;  and “super” fire storms have become an all too frequent event in California and my home country Australia.”

Keep reading Julie-Anne’s blog.