When the Paris Agreement was signed, its preamble included a paragraph acknowledging that climate change must be rights-based and people-centered. This was historic: it was the first time that Parties had signed an agreement acknowledging the importance of considering the various rights when addressing the problem of climate change. And it was only achieved because groups advocating for different rights chose to band together, campaigning for every right as one package.

However, nothing in the preamble is compulsory for countries to act on.

This year, we’re fighting to include 8 rights-based elements in the implementation guidelines (aka the Paris Rulebook).This would mean that countries would have to report on how they are including these elements in the actions they take to tackle climate change. 

Some countries want to include only a few of the Great 8. But the Great 8 support each other. If one is removed, the whole structure crumbles. If they are not incorporated into the Rulebook, then the Rulebook itself will crumble.


The Great 8 are:

  • Human Rights
  • Just Transitions
  • Gender
  • Food Security
  • Intergenerational Equity
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
  • Public Participation
  • Ecosystem Integrity & the Protection of Biodiversity


Authors: Chirsty McFadyen and Catriona Leggat.