Health and Human Rights in the Climate Crisis: Charting Challenges and Solutions


During the COVID-19 pandemic the world has shown its capacity to mobilise and act in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis. How can we build on this momentum to address the challenges arising from the threat of climate change and its impact on our health?

In the lead up to COP26, Health and Human Rights in the Climate Crisis: Charting Challenges and Solutions will showcase the research, policies and practice of experts in the fields of public health, climate science, law and human rights to support global developments to address climate change

Drawing on our shared experiences of increasing climate threats, including fire, floods and temperature rises, the conference will serve as a call to global governments to take urgent steps that recognise the link between the increasing burden on under-resourced public health systems, the exploitation of the natural world and altered climatic conditions.

The conference will take the form of a series of keynote addresses, panel discussions and workshops over the period of 21-29 October 2021 and will be of interest to frontline health workers, human rights advocates, medical professionals, academics, researchers, policy advisors, NGOs and media professionals.

Conference convenors

  • Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney
  • Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, University of Southern California
  • The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney

Conference sessions

Session times are shown in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) and Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) to reflect the locations of the conference's convening institutes in Australia and the United States.

21 Oct, 9am (AEDT) / 20 Oct, 3pm (PDT)

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, will join Tlaleng Mofokeng, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, to open our conference with this session and highlight the impact of climate change on the right to health.


Rt Hon. Helen Clark
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng

22 Oct, 10am (AEDT) / 21 Oct, 4pm (PDT) 

The session will explore the impacts of climate change on populations already suffering discrimination and marginalisation, and how solutions can have significant effects on the rights to health, education, employment, housing, work, water and food.


Liliana Avila, Mijin Cha, Sofia Gruskin, Rajat Khosla, Noelene Nabulivou

26 Oct, 7am (AEDT) / 25 Oct, 1pm (PDT)

This session is an opportunity to join a network of early career participants (ECPs) in climate, health and human rights. ECPs will be given the chance to present work, receive feedback from peers and other researchers, network with others and identify opportunities for mutual exchange of ideas and support.

28 Oct 7am (AEDT) / 27 Oct 1pm (PDT)

This special session is hosted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) with a specific focus on an upcoming special issue of the IJERPH, 'Climate Change, Public Health & Human Rights', which will feature work at the intersection global health and climate justice.


Flavia Bustreo, Giulia Gasparri, Ashfaq Khalfan, Benjamin Mason Meier, Lawrence O. Gostin

28 Oct, 11am (AEDT) / 27 Oct 5pm (PDT)

This session brings together international and local artists, writers and performers to offer a different lens through which to view and tackle climate change.


Ronda Clarke, Andrea Durbach, Janet Laurence, V (formerly Eve Ensler), 

29 Oct, 9am (AEDT) / 28 Oct, 3pm (PDT)

The conference will close with a conversation with the next generation of climate leaders about the future of human rights, including the right to health, in climate action.


Belyndar Rikimani, Banok Rind, Tegan Taylor, Alexandria Villasenor


The Australian Human Rights Institute acknowledges and thanks our sponsors for the vital role they play in supporting this conference: