Martin Wagner, Managing Attorney, International Program: “The petition was a really powerful statement by the Inuit of their rights, and of the connection between climate change and human rights. It instigated a global conversation about that relationship.”
What’s at Stake
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.
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.