The Absurdity of Relying on Human Rights Law to Go After Emitters

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This chapter debates the relevance of human rights law to climate law. No doubt the impacts of climate change hinder the enjoyment of many types of human right. On this ground, Nicola Pain makes the case that climate change can be viewed as a human rights problem, entailing that states must mitigate climate change in order to comply with their positive obligations to protect human rights. Fanny Thornton explores the weaknesses in this position. She counters that viewing climate change through a human-rights lens is misconceived and leads to absurd results, not least because there is no standard by which to assess the adequacy of governmental mitigation action.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebating Climate Law
EditorsBenoit Mayer, Alexander Zahar
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781108879064
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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