Mary Robinson's Declaration of Climate Justice: Climate Change, Human Rights, and Fossil Fuel Divestment

Hugh Breakey, Vesselin Popovski, and Rowena Maguire (ed.), Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, November 2015, 189-212.

Posted: 30 May 2015 Last revised: 11 Dec 2015

See all articles by Matthew Rimmer

Matthew Rimmer

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Date Written: November 4, 2015

Abstract

In a biographical and institutional case study of Mary Robinson and the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, this paper explores climate values in respect of ethics, justice, human rights, and development. The former Irish President and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, has established a foundation to focus upon the linkages between climate change and human rights. She has shown a particular interest in questions about food security, hunger, and nutrition. Robinson has argued: “Climate change is, I believe, not just an issue of atmospheric science; is also about human rights.” Robinson maintains: “The current and future impacts of climate change undermine human rights, including the right to food, to health and water”. Robinson contends: “Climate change is a global problem which urgently needs bold solutions that are fair, and protect and respect the rights of people.” Mary Robinson was instrumental in drafting a Declaration of Climate Justice in 2013. The document shows a keen interest in human rights, development, and procedural and substantive justice; as well as a larger concern for promoting climate integrity. The Declaration on Climate Justice emphasized: “By treating people and countries fairly, climate justice can help to deliver a strong, legally binding climate agreement in 2015.” The document shows support for the fossil fuel divestment movement. Mary Robinson has been appointed as the United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change in 2014. She attended the People’s Climate March, played a key role in the United Nations Climate Summit in 2014, and supports a bold international agreement on climate change in Paris, 2015. This paper provides a philosophical and practical analysis of Mary Robinson’s approach to Climate Justice, and its relevance to supporting a resilient system of climate integrity.

Keywords: Climate Change, Human Rights, Climate Justice, Giving Voice, Inclusion, Access to Clean Technologies, Fossil Fuel Divestment, Rule of Law.

Suggested Citation

Rimmer, Matthew, Mary Robinson's Declaration of Climate Justice: Climate Change, Human Rights, and Fossil Fuel Divestment (November 4, 2015). Hugh Breakey, Vesselin Popovski, and Rowena Maguire (ed.), Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, November 2015, 189-212.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602149

Matthew Rimmer (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, Queensland QLD 4000
Australia

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