Human Rights, Climate Change & AI❗

Anna Triponel
January 19, 2024
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AI, did anyone say AI? 🧐

This is THE hot topic at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Yes, a vast potential ahead - provided we employ the agency we have over it. Governance, training, skills and understanding will be essential moving forward.❗

I liked the words of Jesper Brodin (CEO of IKEA): Yes, AI is interesting and exciting. But in fact, 'minuscule' compared to the economic shifts needed in terms of climate change. Yes, climate change is truly upon us. Data has just been released by the EU’s earth observation agency (Copernicus) which shows that 2023 was 1.48 C warmer than the average for the pre-industrial era of 1850-1900. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) places us at an average of 1.45 C. And other organisations have also come out with their estimated warming for 2023.

Whichever calculation we follow, we land on the following: 2023 was the hottest year on record by far. And we are seeing a significant increase over the current longer-term 1.1 C average rise. Responding to the climate crisis, in a human rights compatible manner, is urgent, necessary and - frankly - the only viable option for humanity we have ahead of us.🌡️

The immensity of the human rights challenge ahead of us has been aptly highlighted by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its recent annual report. HRW describes how existing social, economic and political challenges were exacerbated by climate-caused humanitarian disasters, pressure on shared natural resources like land and water, and disruption of food systems and livelihoods. The report delves into how the rule of law continues to erode, contributing to attacks on human rights defenders. The decline in democracies and crackdown on voice is real - and inter-connected with the climate crisis. 👥

There has never been a better time to be human rights confident. Our dream is for human rights and how we can each play a role to respect and protect them, form the cornerstone of school curriculum, education courses and ongoing corporate trainings around the world. Until then, it falls on us all to continue to push boundaries on what it means to look ahead to a future that is just, equitable and inclusive - in which the private sector has played a major role in helping us get there. 🤝

See you next week 💫