Inuit climate petition against U.S. is rejected

Is climate change a human-rights issue? The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights decided to dodge the question. Arctic Inuit submitted a petition to the commission a year ago, accusing the U.S. government of violating Native peoples’ rights to their traditional ways of life by declining to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. The IACHR recently responded with a brief letter that was “evasive and dismissive,” says Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who submitted the 175-page petition. In its reply, the commission claimed there was insufficient evidence of human-rights violations. But Watt-Cloutier is keeping up the fight, inviting commission members to the Arctic for a hearing, making plans for an awareness-raising five-state “Arctic Voices” tour, and — perhaps most likely to be effective — being interviewed for Glamour.

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