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United Nations declares a healthy environment a human right

The new resolution is a win for Michigan BIPOC communities

Michigan United today released the following statement in support of the United Nation’s declaration that having a healthy, clean, and sustainable environment is a human right.

The Human Rights Council recognized this right for the first time in a statement on Oct. 8. The council called on world partners to work together to implement this new right and established a second resolution to increase the council’s focus on the human rights impacts of climate change. Although the US has not ratified this resolution, our country continues to be a crusader of human rights worldwide.

“We commend the Human Rights Council for this long-overdue human rights recognition that will help leaders take action to protect the environment for everyone,” said Eric Ini, Environmental Justice Director for Michigan United. “Black, Indigenous, and POC communities have historically faced higher rates of pollution and suffer from the devastating impacts of climate change.

Right here in our state, Ajax has requested a permit to build an asphalt plant in a predominantly Black neighborhood, which is already overburdened by air and water pollution. Big companies’ actions that harm marginalized communities and the environment must be deterred so all Michiganders can access the safe drinking water, clean air, and equitable future they deserve.

It is time our policymakers acknowledge climate change as a human rights issue and work to pass legislation that will protect future generations of Americans. Therefore, we call on Michigan’s congressional delegation to commit to passing clean energy investments at the federal level that meet the moment on the climate crisis and advance President Biden’s full Build Back Better agenda.”

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