Resolution on clean, healthy and sustainable environment (8.10.2021)


Human Rights Council 48th Session
Resolutions 8 October 2021
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway  

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8 October 2021

Madame President,

Norway has recently held elections and I’m holding this statement on behalf of the outgoing Government. The new government will have to decide their policies on this in due course.

Earlier today the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution which recognises the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This resolution confirms the numerous linkages that exist between human rights and the environment. It sends a strong political signal to all states to step up efforts to protect the environment, to reduce emissions, and to choose sustainable solutions. And in doing so, ensuring that human rights are protected and promoted. That is why Norway is a co-sponsor to the resolution.

As High Commissioner Bachelet pointed out in her opening statement: “Pollution, climate change and biodiversity act as threat multipliers – amplifying conflicts, tensions and structural inequalities, and forcing people into increasingly vulnerable situations. As these environmental threats intensify, they will constitute the single greatest challenge to human rights of our era.”

A clean, healthy and sustainable environment is the foundation of human life, and the protection of the environment is a necessary precondition for the enjoyment of human rights for present and future generations.

The resolution sends a strong and important message on the necessity of a clean, healthy and sustainable environment for the full enjoyment of existing human rights. It is Norway's view that the political recognition through this resolution of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable development does not have legal effects and thus cannot be used as a legal argument.