Enforcing the Right to a Healthy Environment in the Climate Emergency: A View from Above
10 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020 Last revised: 27 Nov 2020
Date Written: October 30, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into the spotlight the links between measures to tackle air pollution, protect human rights and address climate change. This article therefore scrutinises the extent to which the right to a healthy environment has been invoked in the growing body of human rights-based climate litigation in general, and to demand the enforcement of air quality standards in particular. By looking at the limited precedents that have occurred to date, the article offers some reflections on what the future may hold for this specific strand of litigation in the aftermath of the pandemic. It concludes that, where it is recognised, the right to a clean environment provides a precious ammunition to deliver greater climate accountability and better enforcement of air quality standards.
Keywords: climate change, human rights, pandemic, air pollution
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