Russia Has Been Suspended From the UN Human Rights Council
On April 7, 2022, the United Nations suspended Russia from its seat on the Human Rights Council.
This suspension comes amid growing condemnation of Russia over alleged civilian murders committed by Russian troops in Ukraine. Widely distributed videos appear to show the bodies of civilians scattered along the streets in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
To be approved, the resolution required a two-thirds majority of assembly members that vote “yes” or “no”. Here is a complete list of how countries voted:
|Country||Vote||NATO Member||Former Soviet Union|
|🇦🇩 Andorra||In favor|
|🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda||In favor|
|🇦🇱 Albania||In favor|
|🇦🇷 Argentina||In favor|
|🇦🇹 Austria||In favor|
|🇦🇺 Australia||In favor|
|🇧🇪 Belgium||In favor|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||--|
|🇧🇬 Bulgaria||In favor|
|🇧🇳 Brunei Darussalam||Abstained|
|🇧🇸 Bahamas||In favor|
|🇨🇦 Canada||In favor|
|🇨🇩 Dem. Republic of the Congo||In favor|
|🇨🇫 Central African Republic||Against|
|🇨🇬 Republic of the Congo||Against|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||In favor|
|🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire||In favor|
|🇨🇱 Chile||In favor|
|🇨🇴 Colombia||In favor|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||In favor|
|🇨🇻 Cabo Verde||Abstained|
|🇨🇾 Cyprus||In favor|
|🇨🇿 Czech Republic||In favor|
|🇩🇪 Germany||In favor|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||In favor|
|🇩🇲 Dominica||In favor|
|🇩🇴 Dominican Republic||In favor|
|🇪🇨 Ecuador||In favor|
|🇪🇪 Estonia||In favor|
|🇪🇸 Spain||In favor|
|🇫🇮 Finland||In favor|
|🇫🇯 Fiji||In favor|
|🇫🇲 Micronesia||In favor|
|🇫🇷 France||In favor|
|🇬🇩 Grenada||In favor|
|🇬🇪 Georgia||In favor|
|🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea||--|
|🇬🇷 Greece||In favor|
|🇬🇹 Guatemala||In favor|
|🇭🇳 Honduras||In favor|
|🇭🇷 Croatia||In favor|
|🇭🇹 Haiti||In favor|
|🇭🇺 Hungary||In favor|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||In favor|
|🇮🇱 Israel||In favor|
|🇮🇸 Iceland||In favor|
|🇮🇹 Italy||In favor|
|🇯🇲 Jamaica||In favor|
|🇯🇵 Japan||In favor|
|🇰🇮 Kiribati||In favor|
|🇰🇲 Comoros||In favor|
|🇰🇳 Saint Kitts and Nevis||Abstained|
|🇰🇵 North Korea||Against|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||In favor|
|🇱🇨 Saint Lucia||In favor|
|🇱🇮 Liechtenstein||In favor|
|🇱🇰 Sri Lanka||Abstained|
|🇱🇷 Liberia||In favor|
|🇱🇹 Lithuania||In favor|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||In favor|
|🇱🇻 Latvia||In favor|
|🇱🇾 Libya||In favor|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||In favor|
|🇲🇩 Moldova||In favor|
|🇲🇪 Montenegro||In favor|
|🇲🇭 Marshall Islands||In favor|
|🇲🇰 North Macedonia||In favor|
|🇲🇲 Myanmar||In favor|
|🇲🇹 Malta||In favor|
|🇲🇺 Mauritius||In favor|
|🇲🇼 Malawi||In favor|
|🇳🇱 Netherlands||In favor|
|🇳🇴 Norway||In favor|
|🇳🇷 Nauru||In favor|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||In favor|
|🇵🇦 Panama||In favor|
|🇵🇪 Peru||In favor|
|🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea||In favor|
|🇵🇭 Philippines||In favor|
|🇵🇱 Poland||In favor|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||In favor|
|🇵🇼 Palau||In favor|
|🇵🇾 Paraguay||In favor|
|🇷🇴 Romania||In favor|
|🇷🇸 Serbia||In favor|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||Abstained|
|🇸🇧 Solomon Islands||--|
|🇸🇨 Seychelles||In favor|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||In favor|
|🇸🇮 Slovenia||In favor|
|🇸🇰 Slovakia||In favor|
|🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||In favor|
|🇸🇲 San Marino||In favor|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||Abstained|
|🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe||--|
|🇸🇻 El Salvador||Abstained|
|🇹🇩 Chad||In favor|
|🇹🇱 Timor Leste||In favor|
|🇹🇴 Tonga||In favor|
|🇹🇷 Turkey||In favor|
|🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago||Abstained|
|🇹🇻 Tuvalu||In favor|
|🇺🇦 Ukraine||In favor|
|🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates||Abstained|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||In favor|
|🇺🇸 United States||In favor|
|🇺🇾 Uruguay||In favor|
|🇻🇨 St Vincent and the Grenadines||Abstained|
|🇼🇸 Samoa||In favor|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||Abstained|
|🏴 Bosnia and Herzegovina||In favor|
Not surprisingly, all NATO countries voted in favor of suspending Russia from the Council. This includes Turkey, which has taken a more neutral stance than other allies since the invasion began. Altogether, 93 countries voted for the resolution.
On the other side, 24 countries voted against the resolution. China is perhaps the most significant “no” vote, citing a lack of openness and transparency in the process. Of course, Russia itself voted against the resolution.
A number of countries abstained from voting, most notably, India. Leading up to the vote, Moscow indicated that even an abstention would be viewed as an “unfriendly gesture” with consequences for bilateral ties.
This suspension adds to the list of actions taken against Russia—including heavy sanctions—as the country becomes more isolated from the international community—particularly Western nations.
What Does the UN Human Rights Council Do?
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a UN body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.
The Council investigates breaches of human rights in UN member states and member countries address big picture human rights issues.
How Does the UN Human Rights Council Work?
The Council consists of 47 members, elected yearly by the General Assembly for staggered three-year terms.
Using the UN regional grouping system, members are selected to represent a diverse and fair mix of countries from around the world. Until its suspension, Russia was one of the two countries representing Eastern Europe, along with Ukraine.
Members are eligible for re-election for one additional term, after which they relinquish their seat.
Visualizing the Forest Funding Gap Relative to Emissions
Deforestation accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions, yet receives just a small slice of climate funding. See why closing this funding gap is necessary to combat climate change. (Sponsored)
The Forest Funding Gap
Climate change has been referred to as modern day civilization’s greatest challenge. And stopping deforestation is an important step in the battle to stop rising global temperatures. Yet, when you look at the amount of climate funding earmarked for deforestation, something doesn’t add up.
This graphic from The LEAF Coalition looks at the state of global deforestation and compares how much climate funding it receives relative to its global CO2 emissions.
Deforestation’s Role in Global Emissions
Protecting our forests and protecting the climate are one in the same. In fact, the data reveals that tropical deforestation accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions.
What’s more, these levels of emissions exceed that of all individual countries except for the U.S. and China. Despite this, climate funding towards deforestation only accounts for $14 billion of the over $618 billion available, representing a small 2.2% slice of the total.
This is especially problematic when considering a forest’s carbon stock and carbon sequestration capabilities. Here’s how different forests across the globe compare when looking at gigatonnes of carbon stock.
|Ecosystem||Estimated Carbon Stock (Gt)||Annual Loss Rate|
|Tropical moist forests||295 Gt||0.45%|
|Boreal forests||283 Gt||0.18%|
|Temperate broadleaf forests||133 Gt||0.35%|
|Temperate conifer forests||66 Gt||0.28%|
|Tropical dry forests||14 Gt||0.58%|
A carbon stock or carbon pool refers to a system that can store carbon and take it out of the atmosphere. Forests are used to offset plenty of carbon emissions, and by some estimates, it would cost $25 billion for additional carbon offsets to match and compensate for unabated emissions.
This is crucial because unabated emissions are those who’s harm are not reduced from carbon reduction methods. While this may sound like a lot, it’s equivalent to just 1.5% of the profits from Fortune Global 500 companies.
Altogether, approximately 30% of global emissions are absorbed by forests each year. Despite this, 3.75 million hectares of tropical primary rainforest were lost in 2021, equivalent to 600 football pitches per hour.
Turning The Page
It’s practically impossible to effectively tackle climate change without addressing deforestation. The broader agriculture, forestry and other land use category (which includes deforestation) accounts for 21% of all global CO2 emissions.
Swift action is required in order to slow deforestation and decelerate rising average temperatures. See how The LEAF Coalition, a public-private initiative, is accelerating climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting tropical forests.
The Benefits of Reducing Methane Emissions
Methane emissions contribute to over half of net global warming. Where do the greatest opportunities lie for methane abatement?
The Benefits of Reducing Methane Emissions
Methane is highly potent, capturing 84 times more heat than CO₂ in its first 20 years in the atmosphere.
In spite of these dangers, methane abatement receives a fraction of all climate financing. Based on an analysis from the Climate Policy Initiative, $110 billion in funding is needed annually, or about tenfold the amount spent today.
This infographic sponsored by Carbon Streaming Corporation looks at the benefits of mitigating methane emissions across key sectors.
The Benefits of Reducing Methane Emissions
The risk of methane emissions is substantial: it has contributed to nearly half of net global warming.
The good news is that future emissions can be cut significantly. Methane solutions that are currently available, combined with additional measures that target priority development goals, can cut 45% of human-caused methane emissions by 2030, equivalent to about 180 million tonnes per year (Mt/yr).
This translates into 0.28°C in avoided warming between 2040 and 2070 along with 255,000 premature deaths being avoided due to rising ozone concentrations.
|Sector||Avoided Warming |
2040 - 2070
|Avoided Premature Deaths |
due to Ozone Per Year
|Avoided Crop Losses|
|Fossil Fuels||0.09°C||80,000||8 Mt/yr|
Source: UN Environment Programme
On top of this, 26 million tonnes of crop losses could be avoided each year—equal to about 10% of America’s total food production annually—by utilizing these combined reduction measures.
Methane Mitigation Potential by Sector
As a noxious greenhouse gas, methane is often found in livestock emissions, landfills, and natural gas. For these reasons, the agricultural, waste, and fossil fuel sectors produce the most methane emissions annually.
Where do the largest opportunities lie in mitigating emissions?
The waste sector presents an opportunity to reduce 29-36 million tonnes of methane emissions annually. The vast majority—80% of landfill emissions and 70% of wastewater methane emissions—can potentially be mitigated by 2030 with technologies that are technically feasible today.
By 2030, 30 million tonnes of methane emissions have the potential to be removed each year in the agricultural sector. In fact, 30% of livestock emissions can be potentially eliminated in a technically feasible way over this time period.
The highest potential is found in fossil fuels, with up to 57 million tonnes of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and up to 25 million tonnes from the coal sector having the potential to be mitigated each year by 2030. Research shows that up to 80% of targeted measures in the oil and gas sector and up to 98% of coal measures could be implemented at negative or low cost.
In particular, methane leak detection and repair in the oil and gas industry represent a significant opportunity. For instance, between 2019 and 2021, over 2,400 large methane leaks took place.
Today, technologies to fight methane emissions are readily available, with the potential for immediate benefits.
Consider how 0.1°C in warming could be prevented by 2050 using methane abatement technologies in the oil and gas sector. This is equivalent to eliminating the entire emissions of road vehicles—from cars to two-wheelers—globally.
Given the grave threat methane emissions pose to the planet and society, methane abatement solutions present significant opportunities using current technologies.
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