Defending Human Rights Threatened by Climate Change

Climate change is destroying lands and ecosystems to which indigenous cultures throughout the world are tied; it is interfering with the ability of indigenous peoples to sustain themselves as they traditionally have, and to engage in and pass on practices that define them and their culture.


Regional Office / Program

Case Overview

The Inuit people of the Arctic are on the front lines of the consequences of global warming, as the ice and snow melting under their feet undermine the subsistence fishing and hunting practices upon which their lives and culture depend.

The petition and testimony prepared and presented by Earthjustice were powerful statements about this problem that continue to be cited by activists seeking protection of these fundamental human rights.

An Inuit girl.
An Inuit girl. Climate change is undermining the subsistence fishing and hunting practices upon which Inuit lives and culture depend. (Photo courtesy of Nick Russill)

Case Updates

June 15, 2007 Document

IPCC Report Summary — April 2007

The April 2007 report from the IPCC has concluded that climate change will have a significant impact on the in different regions of the plant.

March 2, 2007 Document

Testimony Before IACHR on Global Warming & Human Rights by Donald Goldberg

Testimony of Donald Goldberg of the Center for International Environmental Law before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on global warming & human rights