Human Security: Climate Change And Human Rights

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Climate change occupies a Centre stage as one of the most debated topics in the 21st century. The unequivocal nature of this issue emanates from the fact that over 1 billion people face the detrimental effects of climate change induced calamities (Mayer, 2016). To date, human security threats associated with climate change are of great relevance to international stability, economic development and peace. According to Caballero-Anthony (2004), social security does not only denote the absence of military attacks in a nation but also looks into the efficacy of an economy to ensure that its populace accesses the acceptable standards of life, fundamental human rights, and is shielded against economic inadequacies. The impacts of climate change are not only extensive but also act as critical sources of threat to the immediate survival of humanity. The Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015 was staged with the aim of underscoring the effects of climate change on human security. Tanner et al. (2015) explains that the Agreement was based on the premise that climate change is a critical challenge and a matter of concern to the existence of humankind.

Paris (2001) expounds that currently, human security is not only an issue of great concern among policymakers but also a matter of interest among scholars. Mason (2013) demystifies that climate change is one of the greatest threats of human security based on its adverse effects on food production and fresh water availability. Economies across the globe have raised concerns on the future of weather-related calamities whose occurrence can lead to far-reaching crises (Bosold and Werthes, 2005). States have initiated global, national, and regional negotiations to establish proper policies and regulatory frameworks in a bid to curb the issues of human security associated with climate change. The current study seeks to undertake a critical analysis of the problems of social security by underscoring the impacts of climate change on human rights.

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Statement of Purpose

Localized performance of human activities such as excessive use of fossil fuels, deforestation, commercial agriculture and deforestation are considered by Wieding, Ekardt and Zorn (2018) as the primary causes of climate change. There are tendencies that the alarming rates of climate change in different parts of the globe will impose a corresponding effect on the levels of depletion of scarce capitals such as freshwater, farmlands, forested areas and fisheries (Durch, Larik and Ponzio, 2016). Caney (2017) cites decreased percolation of water, heightened degrees of soil erosion, increased flash floods and changes in river flows as the effects of climate change. As these resources get depleted, human societies continue to face extreme incidences of poverty, famine, diseases which result in civil strives and violence. Policymakers and the global populace face critical questions that call for urgent attention considering the interface of the multifaceted challenges between social security-climate change nexus. It is due to these constraints that the current study seeks to undertake a critical analysis of the issues of human security by underscoring the impacts of climate change on human rights.


The present study proceeds with the sole objective of undertaking a critical examination of the effects of climate change on the state of social security in different parts of the globe with a vital focus on Canada. The study proceeds by analyzing the contemporary and conventional viewpoints on the climate change debate; providing a theoretical and conceptual exploration of the relationship between resource scarcity, climate change and human security; and the possible causes, primary effects as well as the intersections between social security and climate change.

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  • Bosold, D., & Werthes, S. (2005). Human security in practice: Canadian and Japanese experiences. Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, 1(2005), 84-101.
  •  Caballero-Anthony, M. (2004). Revisioning human security in Southeast Asia. Asian Perspective, 155-189.
  • Caney, S. (2017). Human rights, responsibilities, and climate change. In Environmental Rights (pp. 117-137). Routledge.
  •  Durch, W., Larik, J., & Ponzio, R. (2016). Just security and the crisis of global governance. Survival, 58(4), 95-112.
  • Mason, M. (2013). Climate change and human security: the international governance architectures, policies and instruments. Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security, 382.
  • Mayer, B. (2016). Human rights in the Paris Agreement. Climate Law, 6(1-2), 109-117.
  •  Paris, R. (2001). Human security: paradigm shift or hot air? International security, 26(2), 87-102.
  • Tanner, T., Lewis, D., Wrathall, D., Bronen, R., Cradock-Henry, N., Huq, S., … & Alaniz, R. (2015). Livelihood resilience in the face of climate change. Nature Climate Change, 5(1), 23.
  • Wieding, J. Ekardt, F., and Zorn, A. (2018). Paris Agreement, human rights and climate litigation: Legal opinion issued by Solarenergie-Fördervere in Deutschland. Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy, Leipzig/Berlin.

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