Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

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Tell President Biden: Support Climate Justice at the UN

U.S. leadership must join the call for a global Advisory Opinion on climate justice
Sign at climate protest

UPDATE: Currently, 115 co-sponsors have signed on to the resolution — yet the United States is not one of them. The United States, as the world’s highest carbon emitter, has a moral and ethical responsibility to sign on to the U.N. resolution to seeking clarification from the world’s highest court on the obligation of States in protecting future generations. Please add your name to our petition as soon as you can before the March 29 vote at the U.N. General Assembly!

Time is running out to avert climate disaster. The world is on track to far exceed the 1.5 degrees of warming that climate experts believe is the limit the planet can sustain.

In the face of this crisis, a youth-led movement from the Pacific Islands is calling on world leaders to use a critical tool of international law to respond. UUSC partners the Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change (PISFCC) are leading a campaign to seek an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—a UN body charged with interpreting and enforcing international law. They are asking the court to advise governments around the world on their obligations under international law to protect the rights of current and future generations from the adverse effects of climate change. This would set in motion urgently-needed legal processes to protect people whose lives are already being upended by the climate crisis and to mitigate future harms. 

U.S. leaders could easily support this call. The UN General Assembly can request an Advisory Opinion from the ICJ on “any legal question,” and a resolution to accomplish this is expected to be tabled soon. The U.S. should back this measure and thereby help secure justice for climate-affected people—especially in light of the United States’s historical contribution to the underlying problem. Help us call on the Biden administration to vote yes on this measure at the next UN General Assembly meeting. 

Learn more and take action:

  • Watch this webinar on PISFCC’s progress in seeking and advisory opinion.
  • Watch this video about the campaign.
  • Add your name to our petition. See full text of the petition here.

Photo credit: UUSC

Photo Credit: iStock—Alessandro Biascioli