In this month’s newsletter, we pose a few questions to Benjamin Schachter, U.N. Human Rights officer and environment team leader, and a key partner for the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit. 

Benjamin Schachter Benjamin Schachter, Leader, Environment and Climate Change | United Nations

What is the main role of United Nations Human Rights?

United Nations Human Rights has a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect human rights for all, everywhere. Fighting climate change is at the very heart of our mandate. 

To what degree is climate change already impacting human rights globally?

Climate change already negatively affects the rights of millions of people around the world. Rights such as those to food, water, housing, health, decent work, development, and even life itself. Climate change is not just an environmental issue. It is a human rights crisis bearing down hardest on the poor and marginalized. That's why U.N. Human Rights is proud to be a global partner of the Right Here Right Now Global Climate Alliance, a human rights initiative committed to promoting  and advancing the rights of people around the world suffering from the devastating effects of climate change. 

What is unique about the approach the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance is taking to address climate change?

Through a people-centered approach to advocacy and awareness building, including events such as the annual Right Here Right Now Climate Summit, and the Right Here Right Now concert featuring awards for climate champions, the global climate alliance will explain why we must rely on human rights, science and facts to help people affected by climate change. We will highlight innovative people and organizations rising to meet this unprecedented challenge through human rights and evidence-based climate action, sharing stories of hope and progress to inspire the global community to action. 

Who are the target audiences for Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit?

We are committed to work with policymakers, persons affected by climate change, NGOs, foundations, businesses, academics, celebrities, scientists and all people to fight climate change and preserve our common future. The Global Climate Alliance can help bring us all together, right here right now, to protect the planet and humanity from climate change.

What do you hope comes out of the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit?

We need transformative change in our societies and economies to prevent further global heating and address its human rights impacts. The first Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit is an important opportunity to bring together diverse stakeholders and rights-holders to raise awareness of the human rights impacts of climate change and generate momentum and ideas for catalytic rights-based climate action. We hope the summit will be the first step on a longer journey to bring about concrete human rights-based commitments and actions in the context of the growing Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance, thereby leveraging partnerships for the benefit of people and the planet.