Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

The U.N. Human Rights Council has finally recognized access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental human right, adding it to others─like food, shelter, and freedom from slavery─laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The resolution was first discussed in the 1990s, and the text of the resolution, proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland, was approved by 43 countries with four abstentions from Russia, India, China, and Japan.

Some countries, like Great Britain, raised concerns regarding the legal implications of the resolutions, but proponents argued that environmental risks, which account for 13.7 million deaths per year, make environmental health a critical human right.

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