The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals summit failed to introduce the idea of a right to a clean environment. We must fix that

For all its flaws, the United Nations remains the only plausible forum for engaging broad global challenges like sustainable development. The most important environmental achievements of the past 40 years – the rise of environmental awareness, the birth of key ideas such as sustainability or the common heritage of humanity and the most important global treaties for environmental protection –all bear the UN stamp in one way or another. We could have added environmental human rights to that legacy last weekend, but we failed.

Achieving the United Nations’ ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, which include universal water access, eliminating hunger, and reducing inequality, will take more than increased funding, better aid programming and good governance. Environmental human rights, which guarantee breathable air, safety from toxic exposure and a voice in environmental decision making, are crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty, vulnerability and unsustainability in which too many of the world’s people are trapped.

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Source: Guardian Environment