Environmental Dignity Rights
The Effectiveness of Environmental Law, (Ed. Sandrine Maljean-Dubois), 2017 Forthcoming
22 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 14, 2016
The threats to human rights caused by environmental degradation – including those caused by climate change – are increasingly evident. And yet, there continues to be confusion and lack of consensus about how human rights will be affected, as demonstrated at the recent climate talks in Paris and Marrakech. Taking better advantage of the role of constitutionally-instantiated dignity rights can help to diffuse this dissonance. Most of the effects that environmental degradation has on people can be seen in threats to their ability to live in dignity, including the ability to fully develop one's personality, to live in community, and to claim other rights. The right to dignity, though rooted in international law, is recognized in most of the world's constitutions and a robust jurisprudence of dignity rights has been developing in many countries. We conclude that environmental outcomes – including climate change – can and should be informed by dignity rights and corresponding jurisprudence, a synthesis we call "environmental dignity rights."
Keywords: human dignity, environmental law, constitutional rights, climate change
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation