The denial of climate change is not just ignorant, but “malign and evil”, according to Mary Robinson, because it denies the human rights of the most vulnerable people on the planet.
The former UN high commissioner for human rights and special envoy for climate change also says fossil fuel companies have lost their social licence to explore for more coal, oil and gas and must switch to become part of the transition to clean energy.
Robinson will make the outspoken attack on Tuesday, in a speech to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in London, which has awarded her the Kew International Medal for her “integral work on climate justice”.
She also told the Guardian she supports climate protests, including the school strikes for climate founded by “superstar” Greta Thunberg, and that “there is room for civil disobedience as a way of communicating, though we also need hope”.
Robinson is chair of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela that works for human rights. She will say in her speech: “I believe that climate change denial is not just ignorant, it is malign, it is evil, and it amounts to an attempt to deny human rights to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.”
“The evidence about the effects of climate change is incontrovertible, and the moral case for urgent action indisputable,” she will say.
“Climate change undermines the enjoyment