Category Archives: Climate Change

A Global Environmental Right (S. J. Turner)

Author

Stephen J. Turner

Keywords

Environmental Rights, Global Environmental Governance, Constitutional Law, Company Law, Trade Law, Non-State Actors, Climate Change Law

Abstract

The development of an international substantive environmental right on a global level has long been a contested issue. To a limited extent environmental rights have developed in a fragmented way through different legal regimes. This book examines the potential for the development of a global environmental right that would create legal duties for all types of decision-makers and provide the bedrock for a new system of international environmental governance. Taking a problem solving approach, the book seeks to demonstrate how straightforward and logical changes to the existing global legal architecture would address some of the fundamental root causes of environmental degradation. It puts forward a draft global environmental right that would integrate duties for both state and non-state actors within reformed systems of environmental governance and a rational framework for business and industry to adhere to in order that those systems could be made operational. It also examines the failures of the existing international climate change regime and explains how the draft global environmental right could remedy existing deficits.

Citation

(2014) A Global Environmental Right. Earthscan by Routledge.

Book

A Global Environmental Right

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Bringing Local Voices to the Global Negotiation Table: Norm Dissemination and Consensus Building on Tropical Forests and Climate Change (M. G. Rodrigues)

Author(s)

Maria G. Rodrigues

Keywords

transnational advocacy networks, norm dissemination, Amazonia, Brazil, REDD + , climate change

Abstract

Initially rejected by the parties to the Kyoto Protocol, efforts to protect tropical forests are now an accepted strategy to mitigate the impact of climate change. Inspired by long-standing demands of Amazonia’s forests peoples, the notion of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +) has been embraced in global arenas. What accounts for this shift in perceptions about the relation between forests and climate change? Answers lie in the efforts of a transnational advocacy network (TAN) at norm dissemination and consensus-building within Brazil and in the Kyoto Protocol. This study highlights the importance of domestic activism unfolding in democratizing societies to enhance the influence of transnational advocacy networks in norm dissemination and consensus building in global arenas. It enlarges the explanatory power of normative approaches by documenting a case in which the idea and set of values being globally propagated do not emanate from a Western liberal tradition.

Citation

(2015) New Global Studies 9(2) pp. 125–157

Paper

Bringing Local Voices to the Global  Negotiation Table: Norm Dissemination  and Consensus Building on Tropical  Forests and Climate Change

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Protecting Environmental Rights Through the Bilateral Agreements of the European Union: Mapping the Field (E. Morgera)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera

Keywords

EU external relations, EU environmental policy, environmental rights, EU agreements, climate change, biodiversity, forest, traditional knowledge, corporate accountability

Abstract

The present paper aims to map existing and future opportunities for utilizing EU bilateral agreements to promote the protection of environmental rights, as well as available legal avenues to address missed opportunities and possible risks that EU environmental action abroad may negatively impact on environmental rights in third countries. It starts with a brief overview of the external environmental policy of the EU, including constitutional requirements to couple human rights and environmental protection in external relations and an introduction to the practice of EU bilateral agreements. The chapter will then provide a snapshot of the environment-and-human-rights connection in EU law from an internal perspective, to demonstrate the political sensitivity of the issue. Against this background, the central part of the paper will identify six thematic areas in which entry points for the protection of environmental rights exist in the framework of EU bilateral agreements. The final section will offer a preliminary reflection of the human rights risks of current environmental external relations of the Union and possible avenues to tackle these risks in EU and international law.

Citation

(2014) Lenzerini, F and A Vrdoljak, eds. International Law for Common Goods: Normative Perspectives on Human Rights, Culture and Nature (Hart) pp. 421-441

Paper

Protecting Environmental Rights Through the Bilateral Agreements of the European Union: Mapping the Field

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The Contribution of Human Rights as an Additional Perspective on Climate Change Impacts in the Pacific (S. Tully)

Author(s)

Stephen Tully

Keywords

Climate Change, Human Rights, Climate Impacts, United Nations, Pacific Islands, Resettlement, International Humanitarian Law, International Environmental Law, Environmental Refugees

Abstract

The adverse impacts of climate change include temperature variations, lost biodiversity and more frequent extreme weather events. In particular, low-lying Pacific Island countries and territories will be inundated if predicted sea level rises eventuate. These impacts threaten the continued enjoyment by Pacific Islanders of their fundamental human rights. Rising sea levels threatens their personal safety, continued good health, secure access to proper means of subsistence including food and water and the habitability of coastal settlements. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change encourages developed states to adopt measures that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and financially support adaptation activity undertaken by developing countries. However, several states lack the requisite political will, financial support is inadequate, adaptation measures are limited and small island developing states are becoming increasingly vulnerable. This article provides an overview of climate change impacts within the Pacific region in human rights terms. It argues that the strategy of adaptation, although consistent with the sustainable development agenda, is limited as an effective long-term response to sea level rise. It proposes an international framework that ensures, in the worst-case scenario, that affected individuals are relocated and resettled within other states. It draws upon existing and emergent legal regimes with respect to humanitarian assistance, natural disasters, maritime law concerning search and rescue, internally displaced persons, the environmental refugee concept and the obligations of interstate cooperation arising under international environmental law in the event of transboundary harm. This framework will be most effective if underpinned by the many positive contributions to be made by the paradigm for the protection of human rights.

Citation

(2007) 5 New Zealand Journal of Public International Law 175

Paper

The Contribution of Human Rights as an Additional Perspective on Climate Change Impacts in the Pacific

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Keynote Address: Indigenous Peoples and Global Climate Change: Intercultural Models of Climate Equality (R. Tsosie)

Author(s)

Rebecca Tsosie

Keywords

climate change, United States, tribal governance, human rights, Native Nations, development, environmental policy, energy development, decision-making

Abstract

This essay discusses the place of indigenous peoples within the politics of climate change. In the United States, contemporary policymakers understand federally-recognized Indian tribes as “domestic dependent nations.” In that capacity, tribal governments have the power to address many environmental issues arising on their reservation lands and impacting their members. At the level of international policy, Native Nations are designated as “indigenous peoples,” with a distinctive set of human rights related to their unique identity as land-based communities with longstanding cultural connections to their environments. Sometimes those two identities operate consistently, allowing Native Nations to preclude forms of energy development that threaten their lands, communities, and cultures, as the Navajo Nation did when it enacted the Dine Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005, which banned uranium mining within Navajo Indian Country. Sometimes, however, the identities may be in tension. For example, coal and oil extraction may benefit the economic interests of Native Nations which hold ownership interests in these resources, but may jeopardize the subsistence lifeways of other Native peoples who depend upon the integrity of their lands and waters, as well as the plants, animals and fish in those natural environments. In the era of climate change, these tensions are becoming particularly apparent, forcing Native peoples and policymakers to make difficult decisions about the optimal energy policies to guide the future. This essay compares the predominant model of decision-making, which uses a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis to construct the optimal policy to serve the interests of national and tribal governments in the present day, with the type of long-range thinking used by many land-based indigenous communities to promote sustainable use of lands and resources for several generations. The essay concludes that the current challenge of climate change poses an opportunity to transform our ways of thinking about environmental policy and energy development.

Citation

(2010) Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation 25 (1)

Paper

Keynote Address : Indigenous Peoples and Global Climate Change: Intercultural Models of Climate Equity

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