Speaking on behalf of the UEL group in the debate on ‘Anchoring the right to a healthy environment: need for enhanced action by the Council of Europe’ held during the fourth part session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Ms Mai Kivelä (Left alliance, Finland) noted that “there are no human rights on a dead planet!”
“Without safeguarding the environment we will not be able to advance human rights or any other progressive politics”, said Ms Kivelä, “That’s why it is so crucial to talk about the environment with regards to human rights.”
The report ‘Anchoring the right to a healthy environment: need for enhanced action by the Council of Europe’ that calls for additional protocols to the ECHR and the European Social Charter (ESC) which will link the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment to human rights is fully supported by the UEL group.
Ms Kivelä concluded that “When we talk about environment and human rights I would also like to remind that in the context of ecological crises the anthropocentric approach is problematic in itself. We should have legal mechanisms which would better allow us to show that we respect other species also. If we want to be pioneers in advancing the right to life, we need to acknowledge that non-human species should have rights that are relevant to them. So a holistic approach that puts the rights of all living beings before profit is needed”.