Category Archives: Justice

The Right to Know and the Duty to Disclose: Pathways to Effective Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification Within the Constitutionalism of Climate Justice (T. Thorp)

Author

Teresa Thorp

Keywords

Right to Information, Human Rights, Environmental Law, Equity, International Law

Abstract

The Article is in two parts. Part one examines the dynamic interactions between the right to information, human rights, and environmental law from an objective perspective. It situates monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) within a new architecture of human rights as “people’s rights.” Part two then delves into how international human rights and environmental law may inform a “subjective” test of equity by mobilizing the “right to information” in international climate law. In doing so, it shows how a new approach to international legal architecture, one based on “people’s rights,” may help to improve the effectiveness of MRV in terms of multi-nodal and multi-level governance.

Citation

(2012) 30 Pace Environmental Law Review 140

Paper

The Right to Know and the Duty to Disclose: Pathways to Effective Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification Within the Constitutionalism of Climate Justice

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Human Rights, Climate Change and The Trillionth Ton (H. Shue)

Author

Henry Shue

Keywords

Right to Life, Right to Health, Right to Subsistence, Framework Convention of Climate Change

Excerpt

The desultory, almost leisurely approach of most of the world’s national states to climate change reflects no detectable sense of urgency. My question is what, if anything, is wrong with this persistent lack of urgency. My answer is that everything is wrong with it and, in particular, that it constitutes a violation of basic rights as well as a failure to seize a golden opportunity to protect rights. I criticized the outcome of the initial climate conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Framework Convention on Climate Change, for establishing “no dates and no dollars: no dates are specified by which emissions are to be reduced by the wealthy states and no dollars are specified with which the wealthy states will assist the poor states to avoid an environmentally dirty development like our own. The convention is toothless.” The general response to such criticisms was that the convention outcome was a good start.
[…]
One question naturally is: Which rights of the people to come are
threatened by climate change, and in which particular ways? Fortunately, a strong contribution to answering this question in detail has been made by Simon Caney, who has carefully shown how climate change will specifically threaten at least three rights, the right to life, the right to health, and the right to subsistence. Here I shall simply rely on Caney’s arguments about which rights so that I can focus on two other questions as they arise in the context of climate change: Which features do rights-protecting institutions need to have and what specifically are the tasks that need to be performed to protect rights against the threat of rapid climate change?

Citation

in (2011) The Ethics of Global Climate Change 292, D.G. Arnold (Ed.) (CUP: Cambridge)

Paper

Human Rights, Climate Change and the Trillionth Ton

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International Legal Protection for Victims of Environmental Abuse (M.L. Schwartz)

Author(s)

Michelle Leighton Schwartz

Keywords

Human Rights, Right to life, Rights of indigenous peoples, procedural human rights, human right to a healthy environment, environmental refugees, desertification, flooding, international finance institutions, International Court of Justice, International Labour Organisation

Excerpt

Environmental disasters are increasing. They often result from human activities, such as the disposal of toxic chemicals, the generation of power, and the exploitation of oil. Mismanagement of natural resources has caused severe watershed erosion, desertification and atmospheric pollution which, in turn, have seriously impaired human life. Although the human suffering associated with environmental destruction is growing, international and regional human rights institutions have yet to clarify the obligations of governments to protect and provide remedies for these victims. This paper seeks to inspire such clarification and suggests legal and institutional reforms toward that end.

Citation

(1993) 18 Yale Journal of International Law 355

Paper

International Legal Protection for Victims of Environmental Abuse

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The Human Right to a Safe Environment: Philosophical Perspectives on Its Scope and Justification (J. W. Nickel)

Author(s)

James W. Nickel

Keywords

right to a safe environment, environmental norms, philosophical perspectives, human rights

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

In the last twenty-five years, environmentalists have sought recognition for the right to a safe environment (RSE) in national and international fora. As a result, some countries have recognized RSE in their constitutions. Nevertheless, much skepticism exists about whether RSE is a genuine human right, and advocates of RSE still need to persuade critics that this right merits national and international recognition. This article presents a normative defense of RSE. It argues that a right to a safe environment – defined narrowly – is a genuine human right because it passes appropriate justificatory tests. Part I defends the modest use of the language of rights in expressing environmental norms. Part II offers a narrow account of the scope of RSE. Part III provides a justification for RSE as conceived in part II.

Citation

(1993) 18 Yale Journal of International Law 281.

Paper

The Human Right to a Safe Environment: Philosophical Perspectives on Its Scope and Justification

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Integrated Justice: Human Rights, Climate Change, and Poverty (S. L. Kass)

Author(s)

Stephen L. Kass

Keywords

human rights, climate change, poverty, justice, economic rights, civil rights, political rights, social rights, cultural rights

Abstract

The human rights community in the United States has remained largely silent on the human rights implications of climate change, the most far-reaching change in the Earth’s environment since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. 1 Many U.S. human rights organizations have also ignored or treated as background the growing numbers of people living or dying in extreme poverty in the developing world. Yet climate change is certain to exacerbate the severe environmental and economic conditions already faced by billions of people. These conditions contribute to widespread violations of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights that are the central concern of human rights organizations.

This Article outlines a role that human rights organizations in the United States and elsewhere can play in linking environmentally irresponsible conduct by governments and corporations to the violation of basic human rights. In addition, this Article identifies rights-based remedies for those violations. The goal is neither to assert a new right to a clean (or cooler) environment nor to prescribe specific climate change policies to governments or others. However, climate change and related environmental decisions made by governmental and corporate authorities must now take into account both procedural and substantive human rights and the impact of those decisions on the world’s poor. For the same reason, organizations committed to overcoming poverty, defending the environment, and protecting human rights should revise their tendency to view challenges, in developing nations and elsewhere, through a single lens and should pursue, either together …

Citation

(2009) 18 Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems 115.

Paper

Integrated Justice: Human Rights, Climate Change, and Poverty

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