IPCC Report and Why We Need to Protect Our Right to a Stable Climate

“It is a statement of fact, we cannot be any more certain; it is unequivocal and indisputable that humans are warming the planet.” – Prof Ed Hawkins, University of Reading, UK

McGrath, Matt,”Climate change: IPCC report is a ‘code red for humanity'”, BBC.com

The BBC reported that “the IPCC Report is a ‘Code Red’ for humanity according to the UN Chief.” One of the report statistics that directly impacts Maryland is the increasing rate of sea level rise. The BBC article states the IPCC Report finding that “the recent rate of sea level rise has nearly tripled compared with 1901-1971.” With Maryland’s 3190 miles of coastline and many of our communities located at sea-level, this puts us on the front lines of climate change. 

Climate change is a human-caused problem and it will take the will of the people to change that. We can’t put our head in the sand and ignore what is already happening. The extreme heat in Maryland is one of those signs that we are already experiencing the impact of climate change in our state.    

So what can we do? We, the people of Maryland, can take action to protect our right to a stable climate. In addition to the critical collective work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we also need a legal foundation for protecting our human rights to a stable climate. While some might view this as idealistic, it is also very practical in establishing the legal rights of the people of Maryland so the state does not infringe on that protected right.  What is protected in our state constitution holds our elected representatives, state and local governments accountable.  The amendment, in short, is our collective Environmental Accountability Tool.

The Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights (MDEHR) advocates for passing a Constitutional Amendment for Environmental Human Rights in the Maryland General Assembly in 2022. This amendment would protect our fundamental right to a healthful environment, including clean air, water, land and a stable climate. If passed, the government would not be able to infringe on the people’s right to a stable climate and would be trustees of Maryland’s public natural resources. This means the government would need to keep this constitutional right in mind when making decisions about how our resources are used. 

Maryland can’t afford to keep doing business as usual. Passing a Constitutional Amendment for Environmental Human Rights would be a proactive step in setting the environmental priorities and protections that would guide the work of our elected representatives, state and local governments, and state agencies. 

If you are concerned about climate change and rising sea levels in Maryland, MDEHR needs your voice and your passion to educate your representatives and your community. MDEHR is offering ambassador training so you can gain confidence in talking with your community and with your elected officials about the Environmental Human Rights Amendment. Learn more about the ambassador training at www.mdehr.org/actions and RSVP here.  Get social with MDEHR and help get the word out about the Constitutional Amendment – Environmental Human Rights by following and sharing MDEHR’s posts on Twitter and Instagram.