Climate Change Litigation and Human Rights: Pushing the Boundaries
Climate Law, 2019
15 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2019 Last revised: 3 Jul 2019
Date Written: May 16, 2019
The adoption of the Paris Agreement has prompted a flurry of climate change litigation, both to redress the impacts of climate change, and to put pressure on both state and non-state actors to adopt more ambitious action to tackle climate change. The use of human rights law as a gap filler to provide remedies where other areas of the law do not is not new, especially in the environmental context. It is therefore no surprise that human rights arguments are increasingly made and human rights remedies increasingly sought also in climate change litigation. While relatively few cases have been argued on human rights grounds thus far, the trend is continuing and accelerating, with some striking recent successes. This article takes stock of human rights arguments made in climate change litigation thus far, to gauge what they reveal about the evolving relationship between human rights and climate change law, and possible further developments.
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