2023 Summer/Winter School – Transitioning from Fossil Fuels: Business Accountability for the Right to a Healthy Environment and Sustainability

Date and time: TUESDAY 12 September 2023, 6pm-7.30pm CEST



In July 2022, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution recognising the right to a healthy environment. There is increasing focus on strengthening human rights accountability mechanisms, particularly with respect to businesses whose operations impact on the environment and human rights. This has implications for the long-standing environmental impacts of the fossil fuel industry within and beyond the communities where they operate. As countries transition away from fossil fuels, there are key issues that arise regarding historical pollution and sustainable economies beyond oil. Ongoing divestments by multinationals as part of the transition from fossil fuels, without appropriate safeguards for addressing liability and environmental restoration raise peculiar challenges exemplified in the recent report: “An environmental genocide: Counting the human and environmental cost of oil in Bayelsa, Nigeria”. This panel explores this and other case studies and theoretical discourses on the prospects and challenges of strengthening business responsibilities and achieving just transition for fossil-fuel dependent economies through a human rights-based approach, especially within the Global South context. 


Professor Engobo EmesehHead, School of Law, University of Bradford
Dr. Pedi ObaniAssociate Professor, University of Bradford
Dr. Irekpitan OkukponLecturer, University of Bradford
Dr. Oyeniyi AbeChair, Business and Human Rights Committee, International Law Association (ILA)-Nigeria
Dr. Eddy WifaLecturer, University of Aberdeen
Dr. Peter OniemolaSenior Lecturer, University of Ibadan
Dr. Eduardo PerieraVisiting Scholar, University of West Indies


Devashree Saha and others, ‘Just Transitions in the Oil and Gas Sector: Considerations for Addressing Impacts on Workers and Communities in Middle-Income Countries’ (2022) World Resources Institute Working Paper, DOI: https://doi.org/10.46830/wriwp.21.00040

The Bayelsa State Oil & Environmental Commission, An Environmental Genocide: Counting the Human and Environmental Cost of Oil in Bayelsa, Nigeria (The Bayelsa State Oil & Environmental Commission 2023) <AN ENVIRONMENTAL GENOCIDE (bayelsacommission.org)> accessed 14 August 2023

United Nations General Assembly, Resolution A/76/L.75 <A_76_L.75-EN.pdf> accessed 14 August 2023

Xinxin Wang and Kevin Lo, ‘Just Transition: A Conceptual Review’ (2021) 82 Energy Research and Social Science 102291