Open seminar | Human rights and climate change

| Thursday 03.08.2023

| 12.00 (GMT +2)

|  Join Zoom Meeting: :

| Passcode: 030823

| Watch live on our YouTube channel



12.00- 12.10


12.10- 12.20

Welcome – Introductory remarks

Dr. Asterios Tsioumanis

12.20- 12.35

Climate and human rights | Video Interview

Dr. Annalisa Savaresi

12.35- 12.50

Climate and human rights | Video Interview

Professor Saleemul Huq

12.50- 13.05

Human rights and climate change. Legal and policy framework.

Chris Spence

13.05- 13.40

Climate change and human rights. Existing power imbalances and inequalities.

Dr. Kiara Worth

13.40- 13.50


13.50- 14.00

Closing remarks


Chris Spence (MA Hons) examines the legal and policy framework on climate change and human rights, including recent developments such as the UN General Assembly’s recognition in July 2022 of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment (A/76/L.75 ).

Chris is an adviser and consultant on climate change and sustainable development to several organizations, including the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi), and Oxford Climate Policy group. He has held leadership roles at environmental non-profits in San Francisco and New York, as well as consulting for IUCN, UNDP, the UNFCCC (UN Climate Secretariat) and various other organizations. An award-winning writer, Chris has been following the UN climate  negotiations since COP 4 in 1998, primarily as a writer and team leader for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Dr. Kiara Worth will be exploring how climate change exacerbates existing power imbalances and inequalities, and what this means for the protection of human rights.

Kiara Worth is a photographer and storyteller who has been documenting the global negotiations on environment and development with the UN for nearly a decade, focusing on climate change, sustainable development, and chemicals management, among other topics. With a PhD in Political Science, Kiara has a particular interest in how power dynamics influence the decisions made for sustainability and uses her photography to capture these moments at a global scale.

Dr. Annalisa Savaresi, Professor of International Environmental Law, University of Eastern Finland and
Professor Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)
will also contribute to the seminar (video interviews)

Project coordinator Asterios Tsioumanis (PhD, MSc), TIESS, will facilitate the open seminar providing introductory remarks.

Asterios has an academic background in agricultural and environmental economics, with his doctorate thesis, awarded in 2004 by the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, focusing on public perceptions towards applications of modern biotechnology, including genetically modified food. As a writer for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, he has followed closely developments in international environmental policy for the past decade.

The seminar will be held in a hybrid format in-person and online (via Zoom). A limited number of invitations will be issued for in-person participants, following COVID-19-related restrictions.
Online participation requires no prior registration. The seminar will be held in English. A report including key messages as well as all project’s deliverables will be translated in Greek in the project’s website.


The Transdisciplinary Institute for Environmental and Social Studies (TIESS), in collaboration with a group of academic researchers, was successful to its application for a Jean Monnet grant to analyze and study environmental rights under the title “Human rights and the environment in the EU: Towards an inclusive debate”. The three-year project addresses various aspects of the concept of environmental rights, and aims to add to the ongoing discussion, following the recognition of the “right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right that is important for the enjoyment of human rights” (UN Human Rights Council Resolution 48/13).
The project is divided in five thematic areas, which will be addressed in separate seminars. Following the previous three seminars, this fourth seminar will try to link human rights and climate change in order to offer additional focus on the interrelationship between environmental degradation and the fulfillment of human rights.

Human rights and climate change (backround)

Almost thirteen years ago, the Human Rights Council adopted its first resolution on climate change and human rights, in which it underscored its concern that climate change poses an immediate and far-reaching threat to people and communities around the world and has implications for the full enjoyment of human rights.

Since then, a growing body of literature focuses on the issue, indicating that adverse effects of climate change have significant implications for the effective enjoyment of human rights, especially by those already vulnerable. The importance of a human rights perspective on climate action has been repeatedly emphasized in multilateral fora.

During the pivotal conference of the parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights emphasized that urgent action to combat climate change is essential to satisfy the duties of states under human rights law. The subsequent Paris Agreement, one in which the European Union played a catalytic role during the negotiations, explicitly refers to human rights in its preamble. “Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the rights to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empower of women and intergenerational equity”.

Given the strategic role that the EU played in negotiating and agreeing the Paris Agreement, the European long-term strategy for a modern, climate neutral economy, as expressed in the long-term vision document “A Clean Planet for All”, which provides the framework for the European Union’s climate strategy to 2050 is in line with the Paris Agreement.

The document warns that climate change could “have severe consequences on the productivity of Europe’s economy, infrastructure, ability to produce food, public health, biodiversity and political stability”. It further establishes the links with the enjoyment of basic rights, stating that climate change “could undermine security and prosperity in the broadest sense, damaging economic, food, water and energy systems, and in turn trigger further conflicts and migratory pressures”.

This section of the project offers an additional opportunity for increased focus on the intersection between climate change and human rights.

Visit our website:


For more information on TIESS see our activities and seminars.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Newsletter – sent to the media and several mailing lists

Social media – announcements and posts (Facebook, Twitter)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube channel