ESCR-Net on Corporate Accountability and Climate: Input for the 56th Session of the Human Rights Council in 2024
On 30 November 2023, ESCR-Net sent a collective submission in response to the call for inputs issued by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change, Ian Fry. This collective submission is to inform his report on corporate accountability in the context of human rights and climate change, to be presented to the 56th Session of the Human Rights Council in 2024.
This submission is particularly focusing on the evidence of greenwashing or green hushing with respect to climate change mitigation claims and/or human rights obligations; the role of carbon market in greenwashing; and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). It highlights most recent cases such as the forced eviction of the Ogiek Indigenous Peoples in Kenya from their ancestral Mau Forest that allegedly caused by the acceleration of ‘forest conservation’ projects for the carbon offset scheme.
The document also reaffirmed that in order to further complement the UNGPs, it is evident that we urgently need to focus efforts and resources on the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 26/9, which decided in 2014 “to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, whose mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.” In this regard, it would be key for the Special Rapporteur to recommend the States engage in good faith in urgently advancing a strong and actionable legally binding instrument that would put forward the demands of people and communities affected by corporate power – and as such promoting accountability and an end to corporate impunity.
This collective submission is made on behalf of a group of ESCR-Net members of the Corporate Accountability and the Environment and ESCR Working Groups namely: African Indigenous Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development (Nigeria), Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD, Thailand), Center on Economic and Social Rights (US), Comité Ambiental para la Defensa de la Vida (Colombia), FIAN International (Germany), Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR, US/Global), Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA, US), International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (Malaysia), Natural Resources Women Platform (Liberia), and Ogiek People Development Program (Kenya). ESCR-Net Secretariat has facilitated the intervention and coordinated the inputs received.