Human Rights and Climate Change


The relationship between climate change and human rights law has come under increased scrutiny in the last decade. Since 2008, human rights bodies have recognised that both climate change and climate change response measures may affect the enjoyment of human rights. Parties to the climate regime have followed suit, slowly but surely incorporating human rights language in their decisions.Then, in 2015, the Paris Agreement became the first international environmental treaty to make an explicit reference to states’ human rights obligations. This chapter analyses these developments, looking at progress made, as well as obstacles standing on the way of greater cooperation between the climate change and human rights regimes.


Savaresi A (2019) Human Rights and Climate Change. In: Honkonen T & Romppanen S (eds.) International Environmental Law-making and Diplomacy Review 2018. UNEP Course Series, 18. Joensuu, Finland: Law School of University of Eastern Finland, pp. 31-46.


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Annalisa Savaresi

By Annalisa Savaresi

Annalisa Savaresi is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law. Before joining Stirling in 2016, she obtained her PhD from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and held a four-years postdoctoral post at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Annalisa is a renowned expert in climate change law and on the interplay between human rights and climate change law, with 20 years’ experience working with international and nongovernmental organizations. Before embarking on an academic career, she worked with non-governmental organisations and think-tanks, focussing on human rights based approaches to environmental protection. Since turning to academia in 2009, she has contributed to numerous law and policy reports prepared for international organisations and governments. She has given evidence to the UK, the EU and Scottish Parliaments and provided technical advice in the context of the world’s first inquiry into the human rights violations associated with the impacts of fossil fuel corporations – the so called Carbon Majors inquiry carried out by the Philippines Human Rights Commission.

Annalisa's numerous publications on international climate change law, emissions from land uses, and rights-based approaches to environmental law and policy have been widely cited. She has taught in prestigious institutions all over the world, including the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland; Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy; the University of La Sabana, Colombia; and as part of the UNEP course on Multilateral Environmental Agreements, at the University of Eastern Finland.

She is Associate Editor of the Review of European, Comparative and International Law and currently serves as Director for Europe for the Global Network on Human Rights and the Environment. She is member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and of the Women's Energy and Climate Law Network.