EU lawmakers call for 'climate justice', shy away from links to migration

·2-min read
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union lawmakers on Wednesday called on the bloc to do more to address 'climate justice', but rejected a separate call to increase EU support for developing countries grappling with climate change, over a dispute on migration.

'Climate justice' addresses the unequal distribution of climate change impacts, like devastating storms and rising seas, which hit hardest many communities who have done the least to cause global warming - including developing countries, indigenous peoples and future generations.

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a report calling on the United Nations to develop a global legal framework for climate justice.

It also urged Brussels to do more to address the links between human rights and climate issues in its own policies, including by creating a list of countries where it will increase support for activists and indigenous peoples defending the environment.

"We want to see us take a major step forward when it comes to connecting human rights and destruction of the environment," said Maria Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, the Spanish lawmaker who drafted the report.

Meanwhile, the Parliament rejected a separate report addressing the impact of climate change on developing countries and calling for an increase in EU finance to help them cope.

The EU and its member countries are, taken together, the biggest provider of climate finance to developing countries. However, all large economies are under pressure to raise their contributions, a move seen as crucial to unlocking faster emissions cuts in emerging economies.

Lawmakers narrowly rejected the report, with 255 votes in favour, 260 against and 170 abstentions. Green lawmakers - of whom there are more than 100 - abstained because sections saying the EU should recognise climate-induced migration as a legal basis for providing asylum were removed by the centre-right EPP group.

French Green lawmaker Caroline Roose said the text had been weakened too much to support.

"The protection of climate displaced persons is a priority for our group," she said.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett)

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