Climate Change, Human Rights, and Technology Transfer: Normative Challenges and Technical Opportunities

in Molly K. Land and Jay D. Aronson (eds.) New Technologies for Human Rights Law and Practice Cambridge University Press, 2018.

25 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2018

See all articles by Dalindyebo Bafana Shabalala

Dalindyebo Bafana Shabalala

Suffolk University Law School; Maastricht University Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 24, 2018

Abstract

This chapter reviews the broad strategy to link human rights and climate change, focusing specifically on how well the strategy works to strengthen obligations on developed countries to transfer technology that can reduce or mitigate the effects of increased carbon emissions. The chapter posits that the state-centered “development” approach that has dominated both economic development and climate discourse to date has failed to provide a sufficient foundation for realistically addressing the issue of technology transfer. This chapter argues that the human rights approach solves two key problems that the development framework does not. First, it enables differentiation to take place, not between states, but between more vulnerable and less vulnerable populations within countries. It thus enables a focus on the most vulnerable populations, and in doing so also provides a basis for limiting the scope and nature of the demand for technologies to address climate change. Second, by limiting the scope of needed technologies, a human rights approach makes it more likely that such technologies will be made available to populations in need. If they are not, and lower-resource governments must act to secure climate change mitigation technologies for their citizens, the human rights approach will limit the grounds upon which actors in developed countries can challenge these decisions.

Suggested Citation

Shabalala, Dalindyebo Bafana, Climate Change, Human Rights, and Technology Transfer: Normative Challenges and Technical Opportunities (August 24, 2018). in Molly K. Land and Jay D. Aronson (eds.) New Technologies for Human Rights Law and Practice Cambridge University Press, 2018., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238430

Dalindyebo Bafana Shabalala (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108
United States

Maastricht University Faculty of Law ( email )

Maastricht, Limburg

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