The Janus-Head of Human Rights and Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation

Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 403-423, 2011

29 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2011

See all articles by Ole W. Pedersen

Ole W. Pedersen

Newcastle University - Newcastle Law School

Date Written: October 31, 2011

Abstract

This article examines the role human rights instruments play when states seek to adopt regulatory initiatives in the name of addressing climate change. The article argues that a series of important restrictions exist. Governments responding to climate change need to take into account existing human rights. This observation is particularly relevant for countries implementing Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects and for countries taking part in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under the Kyoto Protocol. The article likewise argues that special human rights obligations arise in relation to the risks associated with climate change. These place on states a responsibility to secure risk assessment and risk communication while taking steps to mitigate climate change-associated risks. While the article considers these requirements to constitute an absolute minimum, it is argued that they can offer a way of securing that national governments are accountable when it comes to climate change responses. On the other hand, it will be shown that these human rights restrictions will sometimes have the potential to run counter to the adoption of effective climate change responses.

Keywords: climate change, adaptation, mitigation, human rights

Suggested Citation

Pedersen, Ole Windahl, The Janus-Head of Human Rights and Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation (October 31, 2011). Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 403-423, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1951832

Ole Windahl Pedersen (Contact Author)

Newcastle University - Newcastle Law School ( email )

21-24 Windsor Terrace
Jesmond
Newcastle upon Tyne, England NE1 7RU
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/nuls/staff/profile/ole.pedersen

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
125
Abstract Views
1,193
rank
234,883
PlumX Metrics