While there is a clear link between climate change and human rights with the potential for virtually all protected rights to be undermined as a result of climate change, its potential catastrophic impact on human beings was not really understood as a human rights issue until recently. This book examines the link between climate change and human rights in a comprehensive manner. It looks at human rights approaches to climate change, including the jurisprudential bases for human rights and the environment, the theoretical framework governing human rights and the environment, and the different approaches to this including benchmarks.
The human rights implications of international environmental law principles in the climate change regime are discussed. It explores how the human rights framework can be used in relation to mitigation, adaption, and adjudication. Other chapters examine how vulnerable groups - the poor, women, and indigenous peoples - would be disproportionately affected by climate change. The book then goes on to discuss new categories of people created by climate change, those people who will be rendered stateless as a result of states disappearing and displaced by climate change, and whether human rights law can adequately address these emerging issues.
1. Introduction Part 1: Legal Aspects and Human Rights Framework 2. International Legal Framework Governing Climate Change 3. Human Rights Approaches to Environmental Protection 4. Climate Change and Human Rights 5. Human Rights implications of International Environmental Law principles in the climate change regime 6. Mitigation and Adaptation through a human rights lens Part 2: Human Rights and Vulnerable Groups 7. Climate-related migration and "Climate Refugees" 8. Forests, REDD and indigenous peoples 9. Women, trafficking and inequality Part 3: Human Rights Implications of International Legal Issues 10. Small island states and their people 11. Extreme weather events, access to resources, conflict and international peace and security 12. Using the human rights framework to adjudicate climate change 13. Conclusion: the Pros and cons of using the human rights framework for climate change
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Sumudu Atapattu is Associate Director of the Global Legal Studies Center and Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Law School, USA.