Category Archives: Emissions

The Janus-Head of Human Rights and Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation (O. W. Pedersen)

Author(s)

Ole W. Pedersen

Keywords

Climate Change, Human Rights, Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, Clean Development Mechanism, Kyoto Protocol, Risk Assessment, Adaptation, Mitigation

Abstract

This article examines the role human rights instruments play when states seek to adopt regulatory initiatives in the name of addressing climate change. The article argues that a series of important restrictions exist. Governments responding to climate change need to take into account existing human rights. This observation is particularly relevant for countries implementing Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects and for countries taking part in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under the Kyoto Protocol. The article likewise argues that special human rights obligations arise in relation to the risks associated with climate change. These place on states a responsibility to secure risk assessment and risk communication while taking steps to mitigate climate change-associated risks. While the article considers these requirements to constitute an absolute minimum, it is argued that they can offer a way of securing that national governments are accountable when it comes to climate change responses. On the other hand, it will be shown that these human rights restrictions will sometimes have the potential to run counter to the adoption of effective climate change responses.

Citation

(2011) 80 Nordic Journal of International law 403-423

Paper

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The Blood of Going Green: Using Environmental Initiatives to Account for the Human Rights Violations of the Green Movement (N. Ketabi)

Author(s)

Noushin Ketabi

Keywords

green movement, human rights violations, biofuel development, science of climate change, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, soy industry, emissions reduction

Abstract

Part I of this Note first illustrates the science of climate change and the push for biofuel development. Next, this Note uses human rights to define the problems associated with biofuel development in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, and introduces the environmental law framework that can address these human rights violation. Part II details the main human rights violations in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay occurring at the hands of the soy industry, and surveys the main existing certification proposals that attempt to mitigate social and environmental abuses. Finally,Part III proposes ways that developed countries can collectively mitigate the negative human rights and environmental implications from biofuel development beyond their borders by implementing a comprehensive certification scheme in climate change initiatives that contain emissions reduction requirements.

Citation

(1991) 32(6) Fordham International Law Journal 1911.

Paper

The Blood of Going Green: Using Environmental Initiatives to Account for the Human Rights Violations of the Green Movement

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Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics & Precaution (F. Ackerman)

Author

Frank Ackerman

Keywords

Pricing, Environmental Protection, Regulatory Costs, Precaution, Uncertainty, Dioxin, Benefits, Pesticides Regulation, Costs, Preventable Childhood Illness, Problem Plastic, Impacts of REACH, Developing Countries,United States Respond, Economics and Precautionary Policies, Arrow-Hurwicz Analysis, Fawcett Report, Atrazine Research

Abstract

“Cost-benefit analysis” is a term that is used so frequently we rarely stop to think about it. But relying on it can lead to some dubious conclusions, as Frank Ackerman points out in this eye-opening book. For example, some economists have argued that states should encourage—and even subsidize—cigarette smoking by citizens because smoking will shorten life spans and therefore reduce the need and expense of caring for the elderly. How did the economists reach that conclusion? The answer is cost-benefit analysis, Ackerman explains.

Then in clear, understandable language, he describes an alternative, precautionary approach to making decisions under uncertainty. Once a mere theory, the precautionary principle has now been applied in practice through the European Union’s REACH protocol. Citing major studies, many of which he has directed, he shows that the precautionary approach has not only worked, but has been relatively cheap.

Poisoned for Pennies shows how the misuse of cost-benefit analysis is impeding efforts to clean up and protect our environment, especially in the case of toxic chemicals. According to Ackerman, conservatives—in elected office, in state and federal regulatory agencies, and in businesses of every size—have been able to successfully argue that environmental clean-up and protection are simply too expensive. But he proves, that is untrue in case after case.

Ackerman is already well known for his carefully reasoned attacks on the conventional wisdom about the costs of environmental regulation. This new book, which finds Ackerman ranging from psychological research to risk analysis to the benefits of aggressive pesticide regulation, and from mad cow disease to lead paint, will further his reputation as a thought leader in environmental protection. We can’t afford not to listen to him.

Citation

Frank Ackerman, Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution (Island Press, 2008)

Book

Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution

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Global warming in an unequal world: a case for environmental colonialism (S. Narain and A. Agarwal).

Author(s)

Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain

Keywords

Carbon dioxide; China; India; developing countries; greenhouse gases (GHGs); climate change; human rights; ‘luxury emissions’; ‘subsistence emissions’; ‘survival emissions’.

Abstract

The idea that developing countries like India and China must share the blame for heating up the earth and destablising its climate, as espoused in a recent study published in the United States by the WRI in collaboration with the UN, is an excellent example of environmental colonialism. The report of the WRI is based less on science and more on politically motivated and mathematical jugglery. Its main intention seems to be to blame developing countries for global warming and perpetuate the current global inequality in the use of the earth’s environment and its resources.

Citation

Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain, Global warming in an unequal world: a case for environmental colonialism (1990, Centre of Science and the Environment, New Dehli, India)

Paper

Global warming in an unequal world: a case for environmental colonialism.

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Diffusing the Problem: How Adopting a Policy to Safely Store America’s Nuclear Waste (B. Mitchell

Author

Bentley Mitchell

Keywords

Climate change, global warming, carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, US, international, nuclear energy

Abstract

Over the past several years, the problem of climate change (also known as global warming) has received significant attention from the public, media, and policymakers. In connection with this increased attention, numerous proposals have been introduced to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other human-produced greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. One common proposal—both in the United States and internationally—is to move towards greater reliance on energy produced by nuclear power plants because of the fact that, unlike most traditional energy sources, nuclear energy results in the emission of little or no carbon dioxide. One example of such a proposal is President George W. Bush’s call for an increase in the production of nuclear energy and the construction of new nuclear power plants, which he states will reduce carbon emissions and promote energy independence.

Citation

(2008) 28 Journal of Land, Resources, and Environmental Law 375

Paper

Diffusing the Problem: How Adopting a Policy to Safely Store America’s Nuclear Waste May Help Combat Climate Change

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