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.

Enter your e-mail address below to be automatically notified of new posts, and never miss a thing.

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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,…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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’…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

Climate Litigation News from Australia: Sharma v. Minister for the Environment

In Sharma v. Minister for the Environment, issued today by the Federal Court of Australia, a group of children and their litigation representative, Sister Marie Brigid Arthur, argued that the Australian Minister for the Environment owes them and other Australian children a duty of care in approving coal mining projects because of the risk of…

Read more

Milieudefensie v. Royal Dutch Shell: Historic Business & Human Rights Case

Today, in a history-making judgment in the case brought by Milieudefensie and other climate activist groups and NGOs, the Hague District Court found that the corporate actor Royal Dutch Shell has obligations to fight climate change. Specifically, it found that RDS must reduce its emissions by 45% by 2030, and that potential sacrifices that this…

Read more

Discussion of the Milieudefensie v. Royal Dutch Shell case

On 4 June at 15h, researchers at the University of Utrecht will host a discussion of yesterday’s judgment in the Milieudefensie v. Royal Dutch Shell case before the Hague District Court. To join Lucas Roorda and the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law:, find out more and register for the event, by e-mailing UCALL-Studentassistent@[nospam]…

Read more

Documents on the ECtHR’s pending Duarte Agostinho case made publicly available

#Youth4ClimateJustice, who are behind one of the ECtHR’s pending climate change cases — Duarte Agostinho and Others v. Portugal and 32 Other Member States — have set up a website publishing all of the third party interventions and state observations relevant to the case. This creates a degree of transparency that is unusual before the ECtHR, and it provides…

Read more

New article by GLAN’s Gerry Liston on the “fair share” issue

GLAN’s Gerry Liston has recently published an article entitled “Enhancing the efficacy of climate change litigation: how to resolve the ‘fair share question’ in the context of international human rights law” in the Cambridge International Law Journal. The abstract reads as follows: The ambiguity surrounding what constitutes a State’s fair share of the global burden of…

Read more

German Bundesverfassungsgericht: Constitutional complaints against the Federal Climate Change Act partially successful

In an order today, the First Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) held that the provisions of the German Federal Climate Change Act of 12 December 2019 (Bundes-Klimaschutzgesetz – KSG) governing national climate targets and the annual emission amounts allowed until 2030 are incompatible with fundamental rights insofar as they lack sufficient specifications for further…

Read more

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.