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The right to a healthy environment and climate change: a necessary match?

Carnwath, Robert (2024) The right to a healthy environment and climate change: a necessary match? In: Schoukens, Hendrik and Bouquelle, Farah, (eds.) The Right to a Healthy Environment in and Beyond the Anthropocene: A European Perspective. Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 247 - 258. ISBN 9781035300419

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Identification Number: 10.4337/9781035300426.00020


Courts in South Asia have taken the lead in interpreting constitutional rights to life to include the right to a healthy environment. In Leghari (2015) the Lahore High Court applied this approach to government responsibility for combatting climate change. In Urgenda (2019) the courts found similar obligations in the European Convention on Human Rights. Emerging from such cases is a common global framework of human rights principles applicable to climate change. A limitation is that human rights are about the protection of people, rather than of the environment. A more comprehensive view came from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (2018), acknowledging the importance of protection of the environment as an end in itself. However, for issues as complex as climate change, human rights law is an imperfect tool. Ultimately there is no alternative to political consensus supported by robust legal frameworks, such as found in the UK Climate Change Act 2008, with precise, enforceable targets based on independent expert advice. A similar rationale applies within the context of EU climate change legislation.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 Editors and Contributing Authors Severally
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 14:06
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2024 03:54

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