Human Rights and Climate Change: Constructing a Case for Political Action (M. Limon)


Marc Limon


Climate change, human rights, United Nations Human Rights Council, global climate change responses


This Article will look at the implications of United Nations Human Rights Council’s Resolution 7/23 on human rights and climate change, particularly in relation to global climate change responses. The Article will argue that the application of human rights principles and norms can bring a range of benefits to international and national efforts to respond to global warming, and that the obstacles to doing so are mainly practical difficulties, related in particular to the entrenched “path dependence” of the two policy areas. This Article will also turn this premise to suggest ways in which the issue of climate change could or should affect international human rights policy. In particular, it will argue that the issue of climate change points to the need for a reconceptualization of human rights, and suggests the need for a reconsideration of the utility of environmental rights. The Article mainly reflects the views of a political rather than a legal practitioner, although these views are necessarily embedded in law.


(2009) 33 Harvard Environmental Law Review 439


Human Rights and Climate Change: Constructing a Case for Political Action