The UN General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution that for the first time universally enshrines the human right to a “clean, healthy and sustainable” environment.
The text, promoted by a group of countries led by Costa Rica, has received the support of 161 member states, no votes against and eight abstentions (among others from Russia, China or Iran).
The decision follows a similar one approved last October by the United Nations Human Rights Council and is considered a historic step by environmental groups.
Organizations such as Greenpeace believe that it can be “a powerful tool to deal with large polluters who are driving the climate and nature crisis.”
“Today’s historic vote affirms that everyone, no matter where, has the right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment,” the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), a non-profit organization, said in a statement. based in Geneva.
The CIEL underlines that the decision comes at a time of “planetary crisis” and can serve to mobilize resources in favor of the defense of the environment and at the time that the communities affected by pollution can defend their rights.
The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment, David R. Boyd, has stated in a statement that “this resolution has the potential to be a turning point for humanity”, improving the lives of millions of people and the health of the planet.
“Faced with the triple environmental crisis -climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution-, the recognition of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is of vital importance”, he stressed.
The delegation of Costa Rica, which was in charge of presenting the text to the plenary of the General Assembly, has indicated that the document will contribute to improving the response to this “triple crisis” and intensifying the work to guarantee a clean environment for all.
Reactions in Chile
The news caused joy in Chile, where from north to south there are five slaughter zones: Mejillones, Tocopilla, Huasco, Quintero, Puchuncaví and Coronel.
in conversation with Radio Bio Biothe Minister of the Environment, Maisa Rojas, valued the action and referred to a “historic day”.
“Today is a historic day. For a large majority, the United Nations recognizes the human right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. It recognizes the impact that climate change has on people’s lives and urges countries to take concrete actions,” he said.
“In the case of Chile, we have made enormous progress in recognizing this right through our adherence to Escazú and with the framework law on climate change,” he stated.