Climate change and human rights

Last month, a Peruvian farmer called on German energy company RWE to pay its fair share to protect his home from imminent flooding caused by a glacial lake melted by global warming.  “For a long time, my father and I have thought that those who cause climate change should help solve the problems it causes,” Saul Luciano Lliuya told the Guardian. He holds that RWE, one of Europe’s largest emitters of carbon, has contributed to the greenhouse effect causing glacial melting that endangers his home, along with many others in the city of Huaraz.Lliuya’s story illustrates the tangible human impacts of climate change, which can easily be forgotten amidst high-level debates over carbon emissions reductions. This is a key year for climate action by both governments and companies.

Brazil farmers shown how to profit by conserving

Talk of ecological diversity or saving rare species does not fly very far in Mato Grosso. The state is Brazil's top soy producer, churning out an annual harvest of about 18 million tones. Fields of emerald green line the highways, stretching out to horizons so flat they look drawn with a ruler. The crops have helped fuel Brazil's economic boom of recent years but they come at a price -- the clearing of more than 130,000 square km (50,000 square miles) of Amazon rain forest in the state from 1988 through 2008, to the widespread condemnation of environmental groups. Years of acrimony have built up. When a visitor mentions environmentalists, the faces of Mato Grosso farmers often cloud with hostility. So, with "save the world" emotional appeals not working, environmentalists are turning to economic arguments, stressing how preserving the world's largest forest can mean bigger profits for farmers.