Category Archives: Global Warming

Human Rights Approach to Environmental Protection (P. Pathak)

Author

Puneet Pathak

Keywords

Development, Environment, Human Rights, Sustainable Development

Abstract

Environmental protection and human rights are interrelated, interconnected, and mutually responsive as both of them intended to the well-being of humanity. Safe and healthy environment is the pre-condition for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. The linkage between these two approaches has recognised in various international and regional instruments, resolutions of the UN subsidiary organization, the outcome documents of international conferences, and the judicial pronouncement of tribunals, which consider the human rights framework as an effective means to achieving the ends of environment protection. Despite the evident relationship between these two, human rights violations and environmental degradation have been treated by most organizations, governments and even academia as unrelated issues. Environmentalists have tended to focus primarily on natural resource preservation without addressing human impacts of environmental abuse. A state of natural imbalance has been developed by many human-centric activities such as the industrialization, urbanization and the large scale exploitation of natural resources damaging the environment led to many serious repercussions on a large scale including Global Warming, drought, flood, environmental Refugees and migration, health issue, Ozone Depletion. Such issues involves not only environmental factors but other factors as well i.e. political, social, economic factors which requires the integration of both approaches to tackle the issues more holistically. The result of looking these two approaches separately is that the victims of environmental degradation are unprotected by the laws and mechanisms established to address human rights abuses. Linking human rights with the environment creates a rights-based approach to environmental protection that places the people harmed by environmental degradation at its center. Articulating the fundamental rights of peoples with respect to the environment creates the opportunity to secure those rights through human rights bodies in an international forum as well as the national tribunals. In this regard, the contribution made by the Indian judiciary for the protection of environment and to provide remedies to the victim of environmental harm by applying the right based approach to environmental protection is a clear example of how the framework of human rights can contribute in the protection of environment and the very existence of the humanity. The concept of sustainable development is very well served to interlink these approaches as it comprising three interrelated dimensions: environmental, economic and social. The present study is intended to describe the interlink between environmental protection and human rights approaches by analyzing instruments, initiatives taken by environmental and human rights bodies and the judicial pronouncement of various tribunals. Further it also evaluates how far the mechanism of human rights is helpful to provide remedies to the victim of environmental degradation and to provide better protection to the global environment

Citation

P. Pathak, Human Rights Approach to Environmental Protection (2014) Vol. 07, No. 01, OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development,  pp. 17-24

Paper

Human Rights Approach to Environmental Protection

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Human Rights and the Evolution of Global Environmental Law (R.V. Percival)

Author

Robert V. Percival

Keywords

environmental concerns, environmental standards, human rights, international law

Abstract

Environmental problems that jeopardize the health of humans increasingly implicate concerns that have played an important role in the development of international human rights. While some have questioned the wisdom or effectiveness of focusing human rights concerns on environmental problems, it seems an inevitable response to the failure of many countries to protect their citizens adequately from harm caused by environmental degradation. This paper reviews efforts to apply human rights concerns to environmental problems. It describes how these developments illustrate the growth of a kind of “global environmental law” that blurs traditional distinctions between domestic and international law and public and private law. It explores how principles of human rights are influencing the evolution of global environmental law with particular emphasis on the emerging right of humans to access adequate supplies of safe water.

The chapter concludes that environmental standards can be expected to improve significantly in the developing world as countries devote greater effort to upgrading their legal and technological infrastructures to prevent environmental harm. Although the growing global recognition of human rights to a clean and healthy environment is encouraging, full achievement of its promise must depend for the immediate future on the development of enforceable domestic laws. Yet as governments and environmental NGOs increasingly coordinate their efforts through global networks, global environmental law will continue to evolve to promote a healthier planet with greater respect for human rights.

Citation

R. V. Percival, Human Rights and the Evolution of Global Environmental Law (2013). Subhram Rajkhowa and Stuti Deka, eds., Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, vol. 2. Eastern Book House, Guwahati, India, 2013; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-66

Paper

Human Rights and the Evolution of Global Environental Law

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A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics, and the Problem of Moral Corruption (S. Gardiner)

Author(s)

Stephen M. Gardiner

Keywords

intergenerational ethics, moral corruption, global warming, tragedy of the commons, game theory, global environment

Abstract

The peculiar features of the climate change problem pose substantial obstacles to our ability to make the hard choices necessary to address it. Climate change involves the convergence of a set of global, intergenerational and theoretical problems. This convergence justifies calling it a ʻperfect moral stormʼ. One consequence of this storm is that, even if the other difficult ethical questions surrounding climate change could be answered, we might still find it difficult to act. For the storm makes us extremely vulnerable to moral corruption.

Citation

(2006) 15 Environmental Values 397-413

Paper

A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics, and the Problem of Moral Corruption

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Climate Change, Human Rights, and the Rights to be Cold (J. Harrington)

Author(s)

Joanna Harrington

Keywords

climate change, human rights, United States, human right to be cold, greenhouse gases, human rights violations

Abstract

“I. INTRODUCTION
In December 2005, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) (re-named the Inuit Circumpolar Council in July 2006) publicly lodged a lengthy petition against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission),1 a Washington D.C.-based organization that is one of two regional human rights bodies operating under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS). The petition alleged that the United States, as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was committing various human rights violations against the Inuit residents of the Arctic through its climate change and global warming practices and policies, including its decision not to ratify Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol).2 In essence, the United States was to be sued for violating the human right to be cold. A year later (according to news reports since no verification can be found in the documentation posted on the website maintained by the Commission),3 the ICC received a letter of rejection from the Commission indicating that the ICC petition had failed to meet the basic requirements of admissibility for further[…]”

Citation

(2006-07) 18 Fordham Environmental Law Review 513

Paper

Climate Change, Human Rights, and the Right to be Cold

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Avoiding Adaptation Apartheid: Climate Change Adaptation and Human Rights Law (M. J. Hall and D. C. Weiss)

Author(s)

Margaux J. Hall and David C. Weiss

Keywords

developing countries, United Nations, global warming, impacts of climate change, poverty, adaptation, climate consequences, human rights law, culpability

Abstract

There is now little doubt that humans will be forced to adapt to the impacts of a warming world. There is also little doubt that the poorest people in the poorest countries will bear most of the burden of adapting to climate consequences they had almost no role in creating. As the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has explained, “In the Netherlands, people are investing in homes that can float on water. The Swiss Alpine ski industry is investing in artificial snow-making machines,” but “[i]n the Horn of Africa, ‘adaptation’ means that women and young girls walk further to collect water.” In the Ganges and Mekong Deltas, “people are erecting bamboo flood shelters on stilts” and “planting mangroves to protect themselves against storm surges.” A final adaptation strategy in the Mekong? “[W]omen and children are being taught to swim.”

Despite these sobering realities, the question of whether climate change implicates human rights law at all has been relatively unexplored until recently. In 2007, for example, the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—the primary report from the United Nations-chartered body responsible for reviewing and assessing information on climate change—scarcely mentioned human rights in nearly 3,000 pages of analysis. However, multiple actors have begun to close this analytical gap: small island states and indigenous populations have claimed in a variety of international fora that climate change has threatened the human rights of their people; an increasing number of academic commentators have worked to explain how climate change issues implicate human rights law; and in 2009, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued the first UN report addressing the links between climate change and human rights.

The increasing incorporation of human rights law in climate change analysis is important, and the efforts to link climate change and human rights law have shifted from asking whether there is such a connection to examining the implications of the relationship. This recognition that climate change implicates human rights is significant because it provides a tangible legal framework for analyzing state actions that lead to climate change. Indeed, because the primary blame for climate change lies with the developed states that have caused the problem, and because human rights analyses are typically centered on state action, human rights provides a lens through which to analyze developed countries’ culpability.

Citation

(2012) 37 Yale Journal of International Law 309.

Paper

Avoiding Adaptation Apartheid: Climate Change Adaptation and Human Rights Law

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