The link between climate change and human rights has received considerable attention in recent years. Increased calls for the inclusion of human rights in climate agreements culminated in the inclusion of a reference to human rights in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted by the international community in December 2015. This seminar will discuss the link between climate change and human rights, the pros and cons of using a human rights approach and the specific challenges that climate change poses to the international legal system such as the disappearance of states, migration and adjudication. It will also discuss the plight of vulnerable populations especially, indigenous peoples and climate “refugees.”
Upon completion of this course, the students would have acquired:
• An understanding of the relationship between environmental degradation, climate change and human rights;
• An understanding of the pros and cons of using a human rights approach to climate change;
• Knowledge of the relevant international law principles and mechanisms applicable to global climate change;
• Knowledge of how a claim under international human rights law can be brought for damage caused by environmental issues in general and climate change in particular; and
• An understanding of the linkages with other areas such as economic development, poverty, socio-economic rights, and sustainable development.