Climate Rights Blog

The CRRP blog features current developments, new publications, calls for papers and event announcements from around the world relevant to the climate and human rights context.

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IPCC Sixth Assessment Report – Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

On 4 April 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the third part of its 2022 Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) titled “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change”, following the first two contributions on the physical science basis (August 2021) and on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability (February 2022, see also our blog post here).  The Working Group III…

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UN Human Rights Council appoints new UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change

On 1 April 2022 the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council appointed Ian Fry as the world’s first UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. The mandate for a new special rapporteur on climate change was established by the Council in its 48th session (on…

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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ ground-breaking resolution on the ‘Climate Emergency’

On 4 March 2022, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights published a resolution titled ‘Climate Emergency: Scope of Inter-American human rights obligations.’ In the Inter-American Human Rights system, this is the first document dedicated exclusively to the issue of climate…

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The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report – Working Group II Report Released

On 27 February 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the second part of its sixth assessment report entitled “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability”. The Working Group II report is the second installment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed this year. Approved by 195 member governments of the…

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Russia vetoes UN Security Council Resolution linking climate change to peace and security

On 13 December, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that would have framed climate change as a a threat to international peace and security. The draft Resolution, which was spearheaded by Ireland and Niger and was co-sponsored by 113 UN member States, would have called the Security Council to incorporate “information on the security…

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The UN Recognizes the Human Right to Healthy Environment

On Friday, 8 October 2021, the UN Human Rights Council issued its Resolution 48/13, which recognizes the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. On the same day, in its Resolution 48/14, the Human Rights Council also established the office of a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights…

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Draft Protocol on the Right to Healthy Environment at the Council of Europe

On 29 September 2021, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) proposed a new additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights which would recognize the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment within the Council of Europe system. The proposal, which is based on a report by PACE member…

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The Right to a Healthy Environment goes to Geneva

The UN Human Rights Council’s 48th Session commenced today, on 13 September 2021, in Geneva. At this session, which will last until 8 October, a “Core Group” of States – Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland – are advocating for the adoption of a UN Resolution recognising the right to a healthy environment. Over…

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Launch of the World Lawyer’s Pledge on Climate Action

Today marks the launch of the World Lawyer’s Pledge on Climate Action. The Pledge is addressed at all members of the legal profession, not just environmental lawyers, and it calls for the mainstreaming and integration of climate concerns into all areas of the law and legal activity. CRRP project lead Prof. Helen Keller is one…

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New Publication: Article by Birgit Peters on climate change and the ECHR in the ‘Archiv des Völkerrechts’

The most recent issue of the ‘Archiv des Völkerrechts’ contains a new article by Birgit Peters on ‘Zur Anwendbarkeit der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention in Umwelt- und Klimaschutzfragen‘ (On the Applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights to Environmental and Climate Protection Issues). Here is the abstract: The protection of the environment has been a long…

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IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report Released

On 9 August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its sixth assessment report. Entitled ‘Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis’, the report contains cutting-edge climate science findings from the IPCC’s 6th assessment report (AR6) reporting cycle, which will be completed in 2022. The report, which was approved by the 195 member…

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Interview on Climate Litigation with Prof. Dr. Helen Keller

CRRP project coordinator Prof. Dr. Helen Keller recently spoke to Katrin Schregenberger of Higgs.ch about the potential and pitfalls of climate litigation. The interview covers the rising number of climate cases based on human rights arguments, corporate responsibility for climate change, and the argumentation in the Klimaseniorinnen case pending before the European Court of Human…

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Online Workshop on the Legal Aspects of the Right to a Healthy Environment

On 7 July 2021, at 14h CEST, the Geneva Human Rights Platform will hold an online workshop on the legal aspects of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This workshop will take place as a side event to the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council – co-organized with…

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Samvel Varvastian, ‘The Advent of International Human Rights Law in Climate Change Litigation’

Samvel Varvastian has published ‘The Advent of International Human Rights Law in Climate Change Litigation’, 38(2) Wisconsin International Law Journal (2021), pp. 369-425. The abstract is below. For a link to the full text, click here. Abstract Despite growing concerns over climate change and the proliferation of national climate laws, global greenhouse gas emissions keep rising,…

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Call for Papers: ‘Climate Change and the Rule of Law’, ECR session, 31 March-1 April 2022

The UCL Centre for Law and the Environment will hold a major conference on ‘Climate Change and the Rule of Law’ on Thursday 31 March and Friday 1 April 2022. The organisers have issued a call for papers for a session devoted to the work of early career researchers. The full call for papers is…

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Call to create an UNSR mandate on Human Rights and Climate Change

During the ongoing 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), which is taking place from 21 June to 15 July 2021, a large number of NGOs and academics have issued a call to create the office of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change. In an open letter, they have…

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Rupert F. Stuart-Smith and others ‘Filling the Evidentiary Gap in Climate Litigation’

As climate cases proliferate, the question of how courts can use and assess scientific evidence takes on ever greater urgency. Addressing this question, Rupert F. Stuart-Smith, Friederike E. L. Otto, Aisha I. Saad, Gaia Lisi, Petra Minnerop, Kristian Cedervall Lauta, Kristin van Zwieten & Thom Wetzer have published ‘Filling the Evidentiary Gap in Climate Litigation’…

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Definition of ‘Ecocide’ as an International Crime

The Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide (IEP) has today issued its report on the international crime of ecocide. Commissioned by the StopEcocide initiative, the report drafts a new definition for potential inclusion in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This would be the fifth international crime contained in the…

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Fourth climate case filed at the ECtHR

Today the submission of a fourth climate change case at the European Court of Human Rights was announced. This new application was brought by six young Norwegian climate activists aged between 20 and 27, along with two organisations who allege that their members’ lives, health and well-being are being directly affected by the escalating climate…

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New Publication: Benoit Mayer, Temperature Targets and State Obligations on the Mitigation of Climate Change

Benoit Mayer (The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) – Faculty of Law) recently published ‘Temperature Targets and State Obligations on the Mitigation of Climate Change’ , forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Law. The abstract is below. For the full text, click here. Abstract The Supreme Court of the Netherlands in Urgenda held that…

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