Introduction to The Human Right to a Healthy Environment
The Human Right to a Healthy Environment (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
19 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2018
Date Written: August 1, 2018
Although the human right to a healthy environment has never been adopted in a United Nations treaty or declaration, most countries have included the right in their national constitutions or regional agreements, and international bodies have applied many other human rights, including the rights to life and health, to environmental issues. In light of this rapidly evolving jurisprudence, should the United Nations recognize the right to a healthy environment? What difference would it make?
This chapter introduces a collection of essays that address the major issues concerning the right, including: how the right has been applied at the national and regional levels; whether the right is already part of customary international law; how the right could be recognized by the United Nations; how the right could be applied to climate change; and, most fundamentally, whether global recognition of the right is justified on ethical and legal grounds. On the whole, the contributors conclude that the human right to a healthy environment is an idea whose time has come.
Keywords: human rights, environment
JEL Classification: K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation