AP “Clean environment is a human right, UN council agrees” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/08/clean-environment-is-a-human-right-un-council-agrees
The human rights council passed the clean-environment resolution, which also calls on countries to boost their abilities to improve the environment, by 43-0 while four member states – China, India, Japan and Russia – abstained*2.
Lucy McKernan, deputy director for UN advocacy at Human Rights Watch, called the clean-environment measure a “significant advance” to help address the global environmental crisis.
“Global recognition of this right will help empower local communities to defend their livelihoods, health, and culture against environmental destruction, and help governments develop stronger and more coherent environmental protection laws and policies,” she said.
Another resolution creates a three-year post of a “special rapporteur” who will – among other things – monitor “how the adverse effects of climate change, including sudden and slow onset disasters, affect the full and effective enjoyment of human rights.”
That measure passed 42-1. Russia objected, and China, Eritrea, India and Japan abstained*3.
*2:See “Human Rights Council adopts four resolutions on the right to development, human rights and indigenous peoples, the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people, and the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment” https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=27634&LangID=E
*3:See “Human Rights Council appoints a Special Rapporteur on the protection of human rights in the context of climate change and a Special Rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights in Burundi” https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=27639&LangID=E