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
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
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