Human Rights and Climate Change / Edition 1

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As the effects of climate change continue to be felt, appreciation of its future transformational impact on numerous areas of public law and policy is set to grow. Among these, human rights concerns are particularly acute. They include forced mass migration, increased disease incidence and strain on healthcare systems, threatened food and water security, the disappearance and degradation of shelter, land, livelihoods and cultures, and the threat of conflict. This inquiry into the human rights dimensions of climate change looks beyond potential impacts to examine the questions raised by climate change policies: accountability for extraterritorial harms; constructing reliable enforcement mechanisms; assessing redistributional outcomes; and allocating burdens, benefits, rights and duties among perpetrators and victims, both public and private. The book examines a range of so-far unexplored theoretical and practical concerns that international law and other scholars and policy-framers will find increasingly difficult to ignore.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I was particularly impressed by the viability of his clear and structured arguement as I have not seen much promise in the influence of human rights on the design of the climate change regime as a whole."
-Timo Koivurova,The Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521762762
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/25/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Humphreys is Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP), an independent research institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and has published widely on human rights.

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Table of Contents

Authors' biographies vii

Acronyms xii

Acknowledgements xiv

Foreword Mary Robinson xvii

Introduction: human rights and climate change Stephen Humphreys 1

Part I Rights perspectives on global warming 35

1 Competing claims: human rights and climate harms Stephen Humphreys 37

2 Climate change, human rights and moral thresholds Simon Caney 69

3 Equitable utilization of the atmosphere: a rights-based approach to climate change? Dinah Shelton 91

4 Climate change, human rights and corporate accountability Peter Newell 126

5 Rethinking human rights: the impact of climate change on the dominant discourse Sam Adelman 159

Part II Priorities, risks and inequities in global responses 181

6 The Kyoto Protocol and vulnerability: human rights and equity dimensions Philippe Cullet 183

7 Forests, climate change and human rights: managing risks and trade-offs Frances Seymour 207

8 Climate change and the right to the highest attainable standard of health Paul Hunt Rajat Khosla 238

9 Human rights and vulnerability to climate change Jon Barnett 257

10 Climate change, evolution of disasters and inequality John C. Mutter Kye Mesa Barnard 272

Conclusion 297

11 Conceiving justice: articulating common causes in distinct regimes Stephen Humphreys 299

Appendix: climate change impacts on human rights 320

Index 332

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