Final Report

The Road from Paris to Sustainable Development: Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality into EU External Climate Policies

This publication is the final report of the project 'The Road from Paris to Sustainable Development. Integrating human rights and gender equality into EU external climate policies.'

For a long time, the issue of climate change has been approached primarily from an environmental rather than a social perspective. As climate effects on communities have been increasingly felt around the planet during the past decade, the perception of impacts on communities has increased around the globe.

Human rights and gender equality are fundamental principles of the European Union and should be integrated into all policies of the EU, both internally and externally. However, only limited initiatives have been undertaken in order to assess to what extent this integration has taken place in the context of climate policies and to map opportunities for strengthening this integration. Since the adoption of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) there has been growing recognition that climate change and sustainable development are closely linked. As part of a broader, inclusive agenda on sustainable development, climate change is being increasingly integrated into the EU's development strategy in order to simultaneously manage co-benefits and trade-offs between climate and development priorities. But the SDG agenda also demands commitment from the EU to ensure that its internal policies and decisions will have a positive impact on international sustainable development. The simultaneous implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement will provide a unique opportunity to advance policy coherence at all levels. By considering human rights and a gender-responsive approach in planning, designing and implementing climate action, policymakers can avoid harmful unintended consequences while maximising the social benefits of their programmes and projects.

The present study seeks to provide an overview of the implications of EU policies for the promotion and respect of human rights and gender equality in the context of climate change. In order to provide a review of the EU’s involvement and its institutions, it examines the specific roles played by the EU and its institutions.

The report begins with a first part dedicated to the policy and legal frameworks that apply in the field of human rights and gender in the context of climate actions. The second part proposes three case studies conducted in Mexico on wind farms (Part II, chapter 1), in Kenya on geothermal projects (Part II, chapter 2), and in Indonesia on the oil palm industry (Part II, chapter 3). Subsequently, a third part proposes policy recommendations targeted at the EU institutions to promote the integration of human rights and gender considerations into climate policies (Part III). These policy recommendations draw upon the previous chapters of the report and highlight opportunities to strengthen policy coherence in EU climate policies and address specific challenges identified in relation to the four EU external roles considered in this report.

Product details
Date of Publication
12th June 2018
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
Number of Pages
Language of publication