Human Rights in a Climate Changed World: The Impact of COP21, Nationally Determined Contributions, and National Courts

37 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2016 Last revised: 13 Jun 2016

Date Written: February 19, 2016

Abstract

This Article chronicles the growing acknowledgment of climate change’s impacts on human rights and how it affected the COP21 negotiations. It puts this human rights advocacy campaign into the broader context of the new agreement's architecture at the heart of the negotiations. The Article then describes six national cases brought to date, and analyzes how they use international climate change norms when making domestic law claims. Finally, it concludes with several observations about how the Paris Agreement’s nationally determined contributions may ultimately lead to greater treaty compliance via nationally determined enforcement. This method can complement the facilitative international compliance mechanisms inscribed in the new agreement while closing the accountability gap. In doing so, it also puts into practice the aspirational human rights language in the Paris Agreement preamble.

Keywords: climate change, COP21, nationally determined contributions, human rights

Suggested Citation

Bach, Tracy, Human Rights in a Climate Changed World: The Impact of COP21, Nationally Determined Contributions, and National Courts (February 19, 2016). Vermont Law Review, Vol. 40, 2016, Forthcoming, Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 1-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2734992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2734992

Tracy Bach (Contact Author)

Vermont Law School ( email )

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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