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The declaration on human rights and climate change: a new legal tool for global policy change

Davis, Kirsten, Adelman, Sam, Grear, Anna ORCID:, Iorns Magellenes, Catherine, Kerns, Tom and Rajan, S Ravi 2017. The declaration on human rights and climate change: a new legal tool for global policy change. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 8 (2) , pp. 217-253. 10.4337/jhre.2017.02.03

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The Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change responds to the profound crisis of human hierarchies now characterising the climate crisis. The Declaration, initiated prior to the 2015 COP21 meeting by scholars from the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE), is one of a convergence of initiatives reflecting the need to understand human rights as intrinsically threatened by climate change. This article introduces the Declaration, the necessity for it, its philosophical and legal background and its support by contemporary cases providing evidence of the escalating legal need for such a tool. A key aim of the Declaration is to trace out a potential normative approach for establishing responsibility towards the planet and redressing unevenly distributed vulnerabilities and climate injustices while recognising that it is vital that respect for human rights should be understood as an indispensable element of any adequate approach to climate change. The Declaration strives to offer a compelling level of ethical appeal, as well as to be legally literate and philosophically rigorous. The drafting process engaged scholars and communities from across the world, prioritised indigenous involvement, and drew on indigenous ontologies and epistemologies. Newer philosophical approaches such as New Materialist understandings of lively materiality also informed the drafting process. Accordingly, the language of the Declaration creates space for non-Western ways of seeing and being as well as responding to insights emerging from new scientific understandings of the world.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISSN: 1759-7188
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 1 September 2017
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 08:03

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