The world is falling asleep due to a climate catastrophe that threatens to undermine democracy, impoverish large parts of the world and fuel racism and xenophobia, a special UN rapporteur has warned.
Professor Philip Alston, envoy of extreme poverty and human rights, predicts an apocalyptic future in which hundreds of millions of people end up in poverty while the rich can find their way out of the problem.
Meanwhile, democratic institutions will be pressured to convince their citizens to take the increasingly extreme measures needed to avoid the crisis, to incite people to nationalism, xenophobia and racism.
The special UN party on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, claims that the world is sleeping in a & # 39; climate flatness & # 39; dragging hundreds of millions of people into poverty, linked to food instability and forced migration, while the rich will withdraw from poverty. the
Alston says the catastrophe will undermine democracy because governments fail to persuade people to take extreme measures that incite racism and xenophobia (photo, climate activist clashes with police in Germany)
In his report, Professor Alston criticizes his own past work, the work of the UN and the governments of the world for not adequately understanding the extent of the crisis or the limited time scale for finding a solution.
& # 39; States have ignored every scientific warning and threshold, and what was once considered a catastrophic warming now appears to be a best-case scenario, & # 39; he wrote in his report, of which advanced copies were released this week.
Professor Alson has built up a reputation for his grim world view after drawing up a report on how cuts by the British government affected the unemployed and the low paid.
A summary of his report claimed that Britain & # 39; a harsh and worry-free ethos & # 39; and is guilty of & # 39; increasing marginalization of the working poor and people unable to work & # 39 ;.
Philip Alston, UN special reporter on extreme poverty and human rights
He said the Ministry of Work and Pensions was going to design a digital and sanitized version of the 19th-century workhouse, infamous by Charles Dickens & # 39;
The government struck back and said the report did not have a good investigation and was politically biased, which led Professor Alston to accuse ministers of completely denying a series of undisputed facts.
In his latest report, which analyzes the impact of climate change on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Alston said the world is dealing with climate apartheid.
He predicts that the rich – who are largely responsible for climate change – will get out of trouble in the future and make the poor and least responsible suffer.
He also warns that & # 39; climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health and poverty reduction & # 39 ;.
The Alston report, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next week, cited earlier research that climate change could leave 140 million homeless people in developing countries by 2050.
However, he points to various developments that he regards as positive, including the protests against the uprising
& # 39; Perverse, while people in poverty are responsible for only a fraction of global emissions, they will be the victims of climate change and have the least capacity to protect themselves, & # 39; Alston said.
& # 39; We risk a scenario of & # 39; climate apartheid & # 39; where the rich pay to escape from overheating, hunger and conflict while leaving the rest of the world to suffer. & # 39;
The expert noted that despite global alarm bells about the threat of climate change, the issue is a & # 39; marginal concern & # 39; remains within the human rights community.
He particularly criticized the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for not paying enough attention and resources to the issue.
& # 39; As a complete crisis that threatens the human rights of a large number of people, the usual word of mouth human rights methodology is hopelessly inadequate & # 39 ;, he said.
Greta Thunberg, the activist who inspired a protest movement at school for the climate, was also praised in Alston & # 39; s report
World governments have not done enough to address the problem, while human rights organizations, including the UN, have also failed, he said (photo, a forest fire in Germany this week)
He has, however, noted some positive developments in recent years – including Greta Thunberg activism and the school protest movement it has produced, the dying rebellion movement in the UK, and a growing number of lawsuits in which people sue states for using fossil fuels.
Alston also calls Trump, one of the few world leaders mentioned in his report, an obstacle to tackling the problem.
He has made former lobbyists subordinate to oversight roles, taken on industrial achievements, chaired an aggressive rollback of environmental regulation, and actively silenced and veiled climate science, & he wrote.
All special rapporteurs are independent experts who do not speak for the UN, but report their findings to the global body.
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