UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 4)

UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 4)

On November 13, 2017, UNESCO issued a proclamation to address the subject of climate change.

So, here’s a continuation of that proclamation.

Article 12: Public Awareness

Article 12: Public Awareness

Promote awareness regarding climate change and the best practices for responding to it, through strengthening social dialogue, and communication by the media, scientific communities, and civil society organizations, including religious and cultural communities.

Article 13: Responsibility

Ensure effective climate policy and action through appropriate governance measures, by promoting transparency and preventing corruption; and strengthening, at the

State level, assessment mechanisms that underpin social, environmental and societal responsibility of all pertinent actors, including corporations and businesses.

Article 14: International Cooperation

  1. Facilitate, support and engage in international processes and programmes to communicate these principles, and to promote multidisciplinary, pluralistic, and intercultural dialogue around them.
  2. Facilitate, support, and engage in international research collaborations and capacity-building initiatives related to climate change.
  3. Promote sharing of the results of science, technological innovations, and best practices in response to climate change in a timely and equitable manner.
  4. Act with urgency upon the commitments taken in terms of the UNFCCC, the

Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement adopted under the Convention, and the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs, and of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

  1. Respect and promote solidarity between and among States, as well as individuals, families, groups and communities, with special regard to those rendered vulnerable by the impacts of climate change and those who have the most limited capacities.
  2. Promote coherence between climate change mechanisms and already existing mechanisms of international cooperation, including cooperation on development, with special regard for climate change responses that can also contribute to addressing other policy goals that advance the well-being of all peoples.

Article 15: Promotion and Dissemination by UNESCO

Article 15: Promotion and Dissemination by UNESCO

UNESCO has the vocation to be the principal United Nations agency to promote and disseminate this Declaration, and accordingly should work in collaboration with other United Nations entities, including but not limited to COMEST, the International

Bioethics Committee (IBC), the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC), the

International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the Man and the Biosphere Programme

(MAB), the International Geosciences Programme (IGCP), the International Basic

Sciences Programme (IBSP), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

(IOC), the Management of Social Transformation Programme (MOST), the IPCC, the UNFCCC, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations

Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Convention on Biological

Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Intellectual Property

Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United

Nations Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and other relevant international bodies working on the issues of climate change, including the International Council for Science, the International Social Science Council, as well as the Future Earth:

Research for Global Sustainability programme for which UNESCO is a co-sponsor, as well as any other intergovernmental body working in the field of climate change.

Final provisions

Article 16: Interrelation and complementarity of the principles

The Declaration needs to be understood as a whole, and principles are to be understood as complementary and interrelated. Each principle is to be considered in the context of the other principles, as appropriate and relevant in the circumstances.

Article 17: Denial of acts contrary to human rights, fundamental freedoms, human dignity, and concern for life on Earth

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as approval for any State, other social actor, group, or person to engage in any activity or perform any act contrary to human rights, fundamental freedoms, human dignity, and concern for life on Earth.

Article 18: Denial of reinterpretation of the principles and provisions of the

UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement adopted under the Convention

Nothing in this Declaration may be considered as an interpretation of the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement adopted under the Convention.

UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 3)

UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 3)

On 13 November 2017, UNESCO established a declaration with the sole aim of addressing the issue of climate change. So, let’s learn more about this article.

Article 7: Scientific Knowledge and Integrity in Decision-Making

Article 7: Scientific Knowledge and Integrity in Decision-Making

States, according to Article 6 of the UNFCCC and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement adopted under the Convention, and other relevant actors should:

(a) take measures which help protect and maintain the independence of science and the integrity of the scientific process. This includes assisting in maintaining strong scientific standards as well as transparency at all levels with respect to scientific funding, methodologies and research conclusions;

(b) raise awareness and promote literacy in science in all sectors and amongst their populations in order to underpin strong and collective action and understanding of how to respond to climate change;

(c) promote accurate communication on climate change based on peerreviewed scientific research, including the broadest promulgation of science in the media and other forms of communication;

(d) build effective mechanisms to strengthen the interface between science and policy to ensure a strong knowledge-base in decision-making.

Article 8: Science, Technologies and Innovations

  1. Develop strategies to uphold the integrity of scientific research in addressing climate change issues.
  2. Use the best available scientific knowledge and evidence in decision-making that relates to climate change issues.
  3. Develop and scale up carefully assessed technologies, infrastructure and actions that reduce climate change and its associated risks.
  4. Increase as far as possible the participation of scientists from all developing countries, LDCs and SIDS in climate-related science.
  5. Promote access to information and training opportunities, including open data and Open Educational Resources (OER), relevant to the challenge and solutions associated with climate change, so that they are shared across the entire scientific and other relevant communities internationally.
  6. Encourage the development of scientific knowledge that helps transform patterns of production, management and consumption to make them more compatible with environmental sustainability.

Article 9: Risk Assessment and Management

Promote the development of local risk maps, early warning systems, science-based environmental and technology assessments, and the appropriate management of risks related to climate change and natural disasters.

Article 10: Vulnerable Groups

Give priority in responding to climate change to the needs of vulnerable groups that include but are not limited to displaced persons and migrants, indigenous peoples and local communities, persons with disabilities, taking into account gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity

Article 11: Education

Article 11: Education

  1. Advance curricula, as appropriate, taking into account UNESCO’s work and initiatives on Education for Sustainable Development and Education for Climate Change, Article 6 of the UNFCCC, and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement adopted under the Convention, so that they build awareness and knowledge about humankind’s relation to the Earth’s climate system and ecosystems as well as about present generations’ responsibilities to future generations, and so that they promote the Principles of this Declaration.
  2. Ensure that, in accordance with national laws, all people, irrespective of gender, age, origin, and persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous people, children, and youth, especially those in vulnerable situations, have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them to acquire and update the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to respond to climate change and contribute to sustainable development.
  3. Promote formal, non-formal, and informal education with regard to climate change challenges and solutions, and encourage retraining for professionals in line with these objectives.
  4. Encourage educational institutions and educators to integrate these principles in their teaching activities from the pre-school to university levels.
  5. Promote, in accordance with national laws, at all levels and in all forms of education, that the recognition of cultural, social, and gender diversity is valuable and is an important source of knowledge with which to promote dialogue and the exchange of knowledge indispensable to responding to climate change.
  6. Support developing countries through educational and scientific capacity building, as well as financial means and facilitation of environmentally sound technological development.
UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 2)

UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 2)

Climate change, believe it or not, is a pressing issue, and in 2017, UNESCO addressed it by issuing the “Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change.” So, let’s learn more about the declaration and the different principles established in this treaty.

Article 5: Sustainable Development

Article 5: Sustainable DevelopmentTo ensure that present and future generations are able to meet their needs, it is urgent that all States and pertinent actors:

(a)promote  the  implementation  of  the  United  Nations  2030  Agenda  for  Sustainable  Development  and  its  SDGs,  especially  by  adopting  sustainable  patterns  of  consumption,  production  and  waste  management;  by using resources efficiently; and by fostering climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development;

(b)work  to  ensure  that  each  person  benefits  from  the  opportunities  of  development,  especially  those  who  are  vulnerable (see Article 10), and in this way, contribute to the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty;

(c)tackle  the  adverse  effects  of  climate  change  in  areas  that  deserve  special  attention  due  to  their  humanitarian  implications  and  consequences,  including  but  not  limited  to:  food,  energy,  and  water  insecurity,  the  ocean,  desertification, land degradation, natural disasters, displaced populations, as well as the vulnerability of women, children, the elderly, and especially the poor.

Article 6: Solidarity

  1. Solidarity implies that human beings collectively and individually should assist people and groups that are most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, especially when catastrophic events occur.
  1. States and other pertinent actors, and those who have the capacity to address climate change should act and cooperate by taking into account:

(a)the  importance  of  protecting  and  enhancing  the  world  we  share  in  a  way  that  reflects  the  solidarity  and  interdependence  among  peoples  of  different  backgrounds,  and  the  interdependence  of  humankind  with  other  organisms, ecosystems, and the environment; 

(b)the well-being, livelihoods and survival of future generations which depend on our current use of resources and the resulting impacts thereof;

(c)the interconnectedness of the physical, ecological, and human systems of all countries, regions and communities across Earth.

  1. Knowledge related to the causes, modalities and impacts of climate change and responses to it should be shared equitably and in a timely manner in order to increase the adaptive and mitigating capacities of all, and to increase the resilience of people and ecosystems.
  1. Developed States and  other  States,  on  a  voluntary  basis,  as  well  as  relevant  actors  should  strive  to  strengthen  timely  cooperative action in the areas of technology development and transfer, support for the synthesis of relevant information and knowledge, capacity-building, and means and financial resources to developing countries, especially those that are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, particularly to least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).
  1. States, on a  voluntary  basis,  can  also  address  the  challenges  of  climate  change  through  South-South  and  triangular  cooperation.

Article 7: Scientific Knowledge and Integrity in Decision-Making

Article 7: Scientific Knowledge and Integrity in Decision-Making

  1. Decision-making based on science is critically important for meeting the mitigation and adaptation challenges of a rapidly changing climate. Decisions  should  be  based  on,  and  guided  by,  the  best  available  knowledge  from  the  natural  and  social  sciences, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science, and by taking into account, as appropriate, local, traditional and indigenous knowledge. 
  1. In order to optimally aid in decision-making, science needs to meet the highest standards of research integrity by being impartial, rigorous, honest,  and  transparent,  and  should  give  adequate  estimates  of  uncertainty  in  order  to  provide  decision-makers with insight into, and understanding of, the underlying risks as well as opportunities, and guidance to their formulating long-term strategies.
  1. Scientific cooperation and  capacity  building  should  be  strengthened  in  developing  countries  in  order  to  develop  a  comprehensive understanding of climate change impacts as well as potential mitigation and adaptation actions.



UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change

UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change

Denial is a common human behavior trait. This is why some people today still refuse to believe that polar bears are dying from receding ice or that hurricanes are increasing; some even think that climate change doesn’t even exist. However, I find it hard to believe that there are people who refuse to acknowledge something as real as climate change.

Believe it or not, climate change is a pressing issue and in 2017, UNESCO addressed this problem by coming up with the “Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change.

Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change

Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate ChangeBelow you will find all the principles brought forward in the meeting

Article 1: Aim and Scope

  1. This Declaration proclaims and elaborates ethical principles of decision-making, policy formulation, and other actions related to climate change.
  2. This Declaration recommends that States consider these ethical principles in all decisions and actions related to climate change that are taken internationally, regionally, nationally, sub-nationally and locally, as appropriate.
  3. This Declaration also calls upon individuals, groups, local and territorial authorities, scientific and other communities, including indigenous communities, as well as international organizations, the United Nations system, institutions and corporations, public and private at all levels and in all sectors to consider these ethical principles, as appropriate, in the decisions and actions that they take in response to climate change.

Article 2: Prevention of Harm

Considering that climate change not only erodes the sustainability of Earth’s ecosystems and the services they provide, but also threatens the future well-being of people and their livelihoods, local communities, and individuals through harmful and negative consequences, some of which are potentially irreversible, States and all actors should take appropriate measures within their powers to:

  • Formulate and implement policies and actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including through fostering climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;
  • Anticipate, avoid or minimize harm, wherever it might emerge, from climate change, as well as from climate mitigation and adaptation policies and actions;
  • Seek and promote transnational cooperation before deploying new technologies that may have negative transnational impacts.

Article 3: Precautionary Approach

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible harm, a lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects.

Article 4: Equity and Justice

  1. Justice in relation to climate change requires fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people. In addressing climate change, relevant actors at all levels should work together in a spirit of justice, global partnership, inclusion, and in particular in solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable people. Global engagement that mobilizes governments, international organizations, including the United Nations system, private sector, civil society, and other relevant actors may be beneficial.
  2. It is important for all to take measures to safeguard and protect Earth’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems, for present and future generations. The interaction of people and ecosystems is particularly important given the high dependence of one upon the other.
  3. In this context, measures should take into account the contribution of women in decision-making since women are disproportionately affected by climate change while at the same time tending to have lower access to resources and yet play a vital role in achieving inclusive sustainable development. These measures should also take into account the needs of those at greatest risk, particularly the poorest and the most vulnerable.
  4. States and other pertinent actors should facilitate and encourage public awareness, and participation in decision-making and actions by making access to information and knowledge on climate change, and on responses that have been made to it, as well as on the means of how to implement mitigation and adaptation actions, widely available in a timely manner taking into account the differentiated needs and access to resources of the most vulnerable.
  5. In response to the adverse effects of climate change, and to climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and actions at the national level, effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, should be provided as stipulated in the 1992 Rio Declaration and according to national laws.