The Paris Agreement As a Human Rights Treaty

Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges: Poverty, Conflict, and the Environment (Akande et al. eds., Oxford University Press)

26 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2018

See all articles by John H. Knox

John H. Knox

Wake Forest University - School of Law

Date Written: June 6, 2018

Abstract

The Paris Agreement on climate change is the first international environmental agreement to refer specifically to human rights. Although the Paris Agreement is not a human rights treaty in the usual sense, it does help to mainstream human rights norms into the ongoing implementation and evolution of the climate regime. This chapter describes the evolution of human rights obligations relating to environmental harm in general and to climate change in particular. The chapter then assesses the Paris Agreement in light of these norms, and concludes that the agreement is generally consistent with the human rights obligations relating to climate change, but that States must strengthen their commitments in order to fulfill those obligations completely. Finally, the chapter examines how human rights law may further influence the development of the climate regime, including through supporting social and environmental safeguards in climate finance mechanisms.

Keywords: climate change, human rights

JEL Classification: K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Knox, John H., The Paris Agreement As a Human Rights Treaty (June 6, 2018). Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges: Poverty, Conflict, and the Environment (Akande et al. eds., Oxford University Press). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3192106

John H. Knox (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States

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