Older people rights and climate change: UN looks at risks and solutions

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights held a meeting on 30 June 2021 on climate change and the rights of older people. It discussed how older people will be more severely affected and what countries and organisations can do to mitigate this impact.

UNHRC_logo Climate change will impact our planet and therefore all of us. Yet, this impact is likely to be more severe for older people, who might find it harder to:

  • survive climate change problems such as bad storms, floods and too much heat;
  • to move away in case of danger;
  • to get information about climate change and how to stay safe.

Also, their needs tend to be forgotten or deprioritized.

For all these reasons, countries worldwide should work closer together to make sure the rights of older people in vulnerable situations, including women and people with disabilities, are effectively protected also in time of climate change.

For that States need to:

  • be aware of the impact this change will have on older people’s rights,
  • make sure laws are appropriate to protect those rights
  • involve older people in finding solutions
  • better inform older people on the risks linked to climate change and how they should protect themselves.

The Human Rights Council could also do more on climate change and, for instance, nominate an expert to work on the issue of human rights and climate change.

The meeting also showcased some examples of good practices worldwide.

Read the report of the meeting and an easy-to-read summary

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