Climate Change and State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations: Causation and Imputation

Abstract

The Paris Agreement provides that States ‘should respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights’ in ‘taking action to address climate change’. Should therefore States be held responsible for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in breach of fundamental obligations, that is, the duties to respect, protect and fulfil first, second and third generation human rights? The key cases of the Inuit Petitions to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Kivalina demonstrate that there are serious objective and subjective impediments to holding a State responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. By contrast, the decision of the Hague District Court in Urgenda has the potential to prompt a paradigm shift, whereby the evolution from first to second and third generation human rights allows streamlining fundamental issues of causation, extraterritoriality, attribution of responsibility and policy discretion. It is therefore arguable that the international recognition of a human right to a sustainable environment would require the plaintiff to only demonstrate direct causation, instead of indirect causation, thus fundamentally shifting the burden of proof to the defendant. Furthermore, such a right would allow attributing responsibility pro rata, based on minimum reduction targets outlined in the UNFCCC regime, overcoming issues of extraterritoriality and policy discretion. The human right to a sustainable environment entails asserting the fundamental nature of the no-harm rule.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    OHCHR (2009), paras. 16 et seq.; Knox (2016), paras. 24–32.

  2. 2.

    UNFCCC (2015), Annex, preamble.

  3. 3.

    Atapattu (2016), pp. 50–51.

  4. 4.

    Ibid.

  5. 5.

    Inuit, Petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, seeking relief from violations resulting from global warming caused by acts and omissions of the United States, 7 December 2005 (hereinafter: First Inuit Petition); Arctic Athabaskan Council, Petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, seeking relief from violations of the rights of Arctic Athabaskan peoples resulting from rapid Arctic warming and melting caused by emissions of black carbon by Canada, 23 April 2013 (hereinafter: Second Inuit Petition).

  6. 6.

    Native Village of Kivalina and City of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil corporation and others, US District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division, Order granting defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, 663 F.Supp.2d 863, 30 September 2009 (hereinafter: Kivalina); Kivalina 696 F.3d 849, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 21 September 2012.

  7. 7.

    OHCHR (2009), para. 96.

  8. 8.

    Knox (2016), para. 35.

  9. 9.

    Adopted 4 November 1950, in force 3 September 1953, 213 UNTS 221. See Urgenda Foundation v. The State of The Netherlands, Hague District Court, Case C/09/456689/HA ZA 13-1396, Summons, 28 November 2013, paras. 72–80, 88–89.

  10. 10.

    Urgenda Foundation v. The State of The Netherlands, Hague District Court, Case C/09/456689/HA ZA 13-1396, Judgment, 24 June 2015, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2015:7145 (in Dutch), ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2015:7196 (English translation) (hereinafter: Urgenda).

  11. 11.

    OHCHR (2009), paras. 80 et seq., particularly para. 86; Knox (2016), paras. 22, 33.

  12. 12.

    Knox (2016), para. 34. See also the sceptical stance of the US (2008, para. 4).

  13. 13.

    Knox (2014), pp. 3 et seq.; Centre for International Environmental Law and Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2018), pp. 5–7.

  14. 14.

     IPCC (2001), Annex B, Glossary of Terms.

  15. 15.

     Ibid.

  16. 16.

    Knox (2016), para. 86.

  17. 17.

    Shelton (1991), pp. 122–125; Knox (2018b), Annex, para. 5.

  18. 18.

    World Conference on Human Rights (1993), para. 5.

  19. 19.

    Adopted 16 December 1966, in force 23 March 1976, 999 UNTS 171.

  20. 20.

    Adopted 16 December 1966, in force 23 March 1976, 993 UNTS 3.

  21. 21.

    CESCR (1999b), para. 46; HRCte (2004), para. 6; Knox (2018b), Annex, paras. 4–5.

  22. 22.

    Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (2015).

  23. 23.

    First Inuit Petition, above n. 5, p. 103.

  24. 24.

    Ibid., pp. 70–72.

  25. 25.

    Ibid., p. 118.

  26. 26.

    Second Inuit Petition, above n. 5, p. 59.

  27. 27.

    Ibid., pp. 21, 49 et seq.

  28. 28.

    De Schutter (2014), p. 427; Knox (2016), paras. 66 et seq. See also the Second Inuit Petition, above n. 5, p. 87, Request for relief, para. 3(c).

  29. 29.

    First Inuit Petition, above n. 5, p. 103; Second Inuit Petition, above n. 5, p. 54.

  30. 30.

    This approach is underpinned by the jurisprudence of international human rights bodies. See, in particular, CESCR (1999a), para. 32: ‘All victims of such violations [of the right to food] are entitled to adequate reparation, which may take the form of restitution, compensation, satisfaction or guarantees of non-repetition’. See also Voigt (2008), pp. 18–19; Knox (2016), para. 63.

  31. 31.

    OHCHR (2009), para. 96; Knox (2016), para. 34.

  32. 32.

    IAComHR (2006).

  33. 33.

    Osofsky (2009), pp. 283–284; Harrington (2007), p. 526; De La Rosa (2014), p. 259.

  34. 34.

    Blau (2017), p. 14.

  35. 35.

    HRC (2008), preamble; HRC (2009), preamble; OHCHR (2009), paras. 16 et seq. and Annex. For a scholarly opinion, see Voigt (2008), p. 15; Koivurova, Duyck and Heinämäki (2013), pp. 292–304.

  36. 36.

    OHCHR (2009), para. 23; Knox (2016), para. 35.

  37. 37.

    See, for instance, Budayeva and others v. Russia, ECtHR, Appl. Nos. 15339/02, 21166/02, 20058/02, 11673/02 and 15343/02, 30 November 2004, para. 12 and Aalbersberg and 2084 other Dutch citizens v. The Netherlands, ECtHR, Comm. No. 1440/2005, 14 August 2005, para. 6.3. See also Metropolitan nature reserve (Panama), IAComHR, Case No. 11.533, 22 October 2003, para. 34.

  38. 38.

    IPCC (2014a), pp. 42–44.

  39. 39.

    IPCC (2014b), Ch. 29, Small Islands, p. 1618. See also Willcox (2012), p. 2; Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (2013), para. 7; Knox et al. (2015), pp. 15–16.

  40. 40.

    Elver (2015), para. 66.

  41. 41.

    Gromilova (2014), pp. 80–94.

  42. 42.

    AComHPR (2016), para. 2; Knox (2016), paras. 81–82; Knox (2018a), para. 15; Knox (2018b), Annex, paras. 39, 47.

  43. 43.

    Knox (2017), para. 26.

  44. 44.

    HRC (2018), para 1.

  45. 45.

    OHCHR (2016a), paras. 4 et seq.

  46. 46.

    CEDAW (2017b), para. 14.

  47. 47.

    Knox (2016), paras. 62–64.

  48. 48.

    Ibid., para. 35.

  49. 49.

    Asselbourg and 78 others and Greenpeace Luxemburg v. Luxemburg, ECtHR, Appl. No. 29121/95, 29 June 1999, para. 1; Tătar v. Romania, ECtHR, Appl. No. 67021/01, 27 January 2009, paras. 25 et seq.

  50. 50.

    Adopted 9 May 1992, in force 21 March 1994, 1771 UNTS 107.

  51. 51.

    See also Voigt (2008), p. 16.

  52. 52.

    Community v. Peru, IAComHR, Report 69/04, 15 October 2004, para. 42; Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group (on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council) v. Kenya, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AComHPR), Comm. No. 276/03, 4 February 2010, para. 246; AComHPR v. Kenya, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR), Appl. No. 006/2012, 26 May 2017, para. 216. See also Metropolitan nature reserve, above n. 37, para. 32.

  53. 53.

    Kivalina (2009), above n. 6, pp. 16, 20–21, emphasis added.

  54. 54.

    Ibid., p. 17.

  55. 55.

    Ibid., p. 21. For a critical approach, see Lawson (2011), pp. 480–481.

  56. 56.

    Available at http://www.ipcc.ch (accessed 3 July 2018).

  57. 57.

    Urgenda, above n. 10, para. 4.79.

  58. 58.

    Ibid., para. 4.19.

  59. 59.

    Ibid., para. 4.90.

  60. 60.

    Ibid., para. 4.45.

  61. 61.

    Ibid., para. 4.46.

  62. 62.

    See also Stein and Castermans (2017), p. 306.

  63. 63.

    First Inuit Petition, above n. 5, pp. 10–12; Second Inuit Petition, above n. 5, pp. 8–10.

  64. 64.

    Knox (2009), p. 200; Knox (2016), para. 41.

  65. 65.

    Legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory (Advisory Opinion), 9 July 2004, ICJ Report 2004, p. 136, paras. 108–111, emphasis added. See also McInerney-Lankford, Darrow and Rajamani (2011), pp. 40–41.

  66. 66.

    Burgos v. Uruguay, HRCte, Comm. No. 52/1979, 29 July 1981, para. 12.3.

  67. 67.

    CESCR (2003), paras. 31, 33.

  68. 68.

    Ibid., para. 34.

  69. 69.

    CESCR (1999a), para. 36.

  70. 70.

    CESCR (2000), para. 39.

  71. 71.

    OHCHR (2009), paras. 86–88.

  72. 72.

    OHCHR (2011), para. 72.

  73. 73.

    Adopted 28 June 1998, in force 30 October 2001, 2161 UNTS 447.

  74. 74.

    Arts. 2(5) and 3(9). See also Boyle (2012), p. 638.

  75. 75.

    OHCHR (2009), para. 86; OHCHR (2011), paras. 69–71.

  76. 76.

    Knox (2016), para. 41.

  77. 77.

    Harrington (2007), p. 524.

  78. 78.

    Banković and Others v. Belgium and 16 other contracting States, ECtHR, Appl. No. 52207/99, 12 December 2001, para. 61.

  79. 79.

    Issa and others v. Turkey, ECtHR, Appl. No. 31821/96, 16 November 2004, para. 71; HRCte (2010), para. 5.

  80. 80.

    Armando Alejandre Jr, Carlos Costa, Mario de la Pena, y Pablo Morales v. Cuba, IAComHR, Report No. 86/99, 29 September 1999, para. 23; HRCte (2004), para. 10; HRCte (2008), para. 14; Inter-State petition Ip-02, admissibility, Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina, Ecuador—Colombia, Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), Report No. 112/10, 21 October 2010, paras. 89–100; Al-Skeini v. UK, ECtHR, Appl. No. 55721/07, 7 July 2011, para. 136.

  81. 81.

    Knox (2009), p. 203.

  82. 82.

    Boyle (2015), pp. 233–234.

  83. 83.

    Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (1996), para. 4. It is thus surprising that, unlike the first Inuit Petition, the Athabaskan Petition does not focus on the claim to self-determination as a basis for action against Canada’s black carbon emissions.

  84. 84.

    Adopted 24 October 1945, in force 24 September 1973, 1 UNTS XVI.

  85. 85.

    Emphasis added.

  86. 86.

    HRCte (2004), para. 2.

  87. 87.

    Shelton (2009), pp. 236 et seq.

  88. 88.

    Knox (2009), pp. 205–206, 209, 212–213; McInerney-Lankford, Darrow and Rajamani (2011), p. 43; Knox et al. (2015), para. 4.

  89. 89.

    CESCR (1999b), para. 56; CESCR (2003), para. 31; CESCR (2009), para. 58; OHCHR (2009), paras. 84–85. For a scholarly opinion, see Knox (2009), pp. 212–213.

  90. 90.

    CRC (2013), para. 67; Knox (2016), paras. 41–42, 79, 83; Knox (2017), para. 36; CRC (2017), para. 51; Knox (2018b), Annex, para. 36; HRC (2018), para. 6.

  91. 91.

    Voigt (2008), pp. 13, 15; Knox (2016), para. 48.

  92. 92.

    Hall and Weiss (2012), p. 343.

  93. 93.

    Urgenda, above n. 10, para. 4.64. See also Knox (2016), para. 68.

  94. 94.

    Harrington (2007), p. 524.

  95. 95.

    CESCR (2016a), para. 45.

  96. 96.

    OHCHR (2016a), paras. 12–22.

  97. 97.

    Text accompanying n. 48.

  98. 98.

    Knox (2016), para. 34.

  99. 99.

    Kivalina (2009), above n. 6, p. 20. See also Peloffy (2013), p. 143.

  100. 100.

    Kivalina (2009), above n. 6, p. 20, emphasis added.

  101. 101.

    Ibid., emphasis added.

  102. 102.

    73 F.3d 546, 558 (5th Cir. 1996).

  103. 103.

    Kivalina (2009), above n. 6, p. 19.

  104. 104.

    Ibid.

  105. 105.

    Text accompanying n. 33.

  106. 106.

    Text accompanying n. 32.

  107. 107.

    Massachussets v. EPA, 127 SCt 1438, Case No. 05-1120 (2007), Robert CJ and Scalia J dissenting.

  108. 108.

    Ibid., p. 32.

  109. 109.

    Ibid., p. 31.

  110. 110.

    Ibid., p. 26.

  111. 111.

    Posner (2007), pp. 1938–1939.

  112. 112.

    US Environmental Protection Agency (2017). See also Lawson (2011), p. 486.

  113. 113.

    Urgenda, above n. 10, para. 4.54.

  114. 114.

    Ibid., para. 4.63.

  115. 115.

    Text accompanying n. 61.

  116. 116.

    Urgenda, above n. 10, para. 4.46.

  117. 117.

    Crawford (1999), p. 438; Voigt (2008), pp. 9–15.

  118. 118.

    Velásquez Rodríguez v. Honduras, IACtHR, Ser. C No. 4, 29 July 1988, para. 172; The Social and Economic Rights Action Centre and the Centre for Economic and Social Rights v. Nigeria, AComHPR, Comm. No. 155/96, 27 October 2001, para. 52; Tătar v. Romania, above n. 49, para. 107. See also Varhuas (2016), pp. 39–40.

  119. 119.

    Voigt (2008), pp. 19–20.

  120. 120.

    Sands (2016), p. 31.

  121. 121.

    Deakin, Johnston and Marchesinis (2013), p. 880.

  122. 122.

    Ibid.

  123. 123.

    Urgenda, above n. 10, para. 4.79.

  124. 124.

    Ibid., para. 4.89.

  125. 125.

    Urgenda, above n. 10, paras. 2.36, 2.38.

  126. 126.

    Ibid., para. 4.79.

  127. 127.

    First Inuit Petition, above n. 5, p. 69.

  128. 128.

    Second Inuit Petition, above n. 5, p. 3: ‘[…] although relatively smaller than emissions from lower latitudes, emissions from within or near the Arctic have a disproportionate effect because there is a greater likelihood they will deposit on Arctic snow and ice’.

  129. 129.

    See, for instance, Hämäläinen v. Finland, ECtHR, Appl. No. 37359/09, 16 July 2014, para. 67.

  130. 130.

    UNFCCC (2011), pp. 3 et seq.; UNFCCC (2018a). Despite declared commitment to international climate change regulation by the Trudeau administration, Canada is still not a party to the Kyoto Protocol.

  131. 131.

    UNFCCC (2018b).

  132. 132.

    Vihma (2013), pp. 162–163.

  133. 133.

    UNFCCC (2008); Samaan (2011), pp. 265 et seq.; UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (2014), paras. 23 et seq.

  134. 134.

    De Schutter (2014), pp. 479, 531.

  135. 135.

    Knox (2016), para. 68.

  136. 136.

    CESCR (2014), para. 9, emphasis added.

  137. 137.

    Trump (2017).

  138. 138.

    Kivalina (2009), above n. 6, p. 6.

  139. 139.

    Ibid., p. 8.

  140. 140.

    Ibid., p. 9.

  141. 141.

    Ibid., p. 13.

  142. 142.

    Ibid., pp. 12–13.

  143. 143.

    Ibid., p. 13.

  144. 144.

    Ibid., p. 14.

  145. 145.

    Ibid., p. 14.

  146. 146.

    Ibid., pp. 14–15. For a critique, see Lawson (2011), pp. 479, 489–490.

  147. 147.

    Urgenda, above n. 10, para. 5.1.

  148. 148.

    Ibid., para. 4.101.

  149. 149.

    Ibid., paras. 4.93–4.102.

  150. 150.

    Also defined as the right to a ‘satisfactory’, ‘safe’, ‘clean’, or ‘healthy’ environment (Ksentini (1994), para. 242; OAS (1997), Art. XIII; UNESCO (1999), Art. 1; Knox (2012), paras. 12–14; Knox (2015), para. 73).

  151. 151.

    McInerney-Lankford, Darrow and Rajamani (2011), pp. 36–39.

  152. 152.

    Gabcikovo-Nagymaros project (Hungary v. Slovakia), 25 September 1997, ICJ Reports 1997, p. 7, Opinion Weeramantry, p. 91; Shelton (1991), pp. 112–117; OHCHR (2009), para. 18; OHCHR (2011), para. 7; Knox (2012), para. 19.

  153. 153.

    Bell (2013), pp. 159, 163–164.

  154. 154.

    First Inuit Petition, above n. 5, pp. 73–74.

  155. 155.

    Ibid.

  156. 156.

    OAS (2008). See the Second Inuit Petition, above n. 5, pp. 54–56.

  157. 157.

    See, for instance, Weston and Bollier (2013), p. 285, Addendum, The international legal status of the human right to a clean and healthy environment.

  158. 158.

    Knox (2012), para. 14.

  159. 159.

    Expert Group on Global Climate Obligations (2015).

  160. 160.

    Ibid., preamble. See also the Commentary to the Principles on Global Climate Obligations, pp. 16 et seq.

  161. 161.

    Boyle (2012), p. 627.

  162. 162.

    Ibid.

  163. 163.

    Ibid., p. 629.

  164. 164.

    Ibid., p. 627.

  165. 165.

    See HRC (2008), preamble; HRC (2009), preamble; OHCHR (2009), paras. 16 et seq. and Annex; Knox (2016), para. 34.

  166. 166.

    Voigt (2008), pp. 15–16; Limon (2009), pp. 469–473.

  167. 167.

    Knox (2013), para. 17; Knox (2018b), Annex, para. 4.

  168. 168.

    Sands (2016), p. 31.

  169. 169.

    Hayward (2004), pp. 103–106.

  170. 170.

    Text accompanying nn. 56–62.

  171. 171.

    High Court of Lahore, Case W.P. No. 25501/2015, Order of 4 September 2015, para. 7.

  172. 172.

    See, for instance, Boyle (2012), p. 633.

  173. 173.

    Hohfeld (1913), pp. 30, 33.

  174. 174.

    UN (2015), principle 13; Knox (2018b), Annex, para. 54.

  175. 175.

    CRC (2016), para. 49.

  176. 176.

    Freedman (2013), p. 954.

  177. 177.

    Expert Group on Global Climate Obligations (2015), preamble.

  178. 178.

    Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (2009), para. 1. See also Depledge (2007), pp. 238–239; Shue (2014), p. 62.

  179. 179.

    Beckman and Pasek (2001), pp. 12 et seq.; Hiskes (2006), p. 93; Coomans and Künnemann (2012), pp. 126, 130–131.

  180. 180.

    Principle 13.

  181. 181.

    Ksentini (1994), Annex.

  182. 182.

    Art. 1 posits the basic principle that ‘everyone has a fundamental right to the environment and an absolute duty to preserve life on earth for the benefit of present and future generations’ (emphasis added).

  183. 183.

    Art. 5: ‘Everyone is under a duty to utilise natural resources with equity and care, by ensuring the maximum saving of energy […] [and] minimum consumption of resources’.

  184. 184.

    Art. 7: ‘States are legally responsible to the entire International Community for acts that cause substantial damage to the environment in their own territory, in that of other States or in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction’ and ‘shall adopt all measures to prevent such damage’ (emphasis added).

  185. 185.

    Art. 6: ‘States shall recognise and guarantee the human right to the environment, and foster conditions that make this right effective’.

  186. 186.

    Art. 8: ‘States, in particular, shall […] prohibit all activities that may cause irreversible damage to the basic natural processes of the biosphere and, as a precautionary measure, suspend those activities whose effects cannot be determined until all such uncertainty has been removed; e) take action to restore degraded ecosystems; f) prevent the transfer of environmental harm and risks to other parts of the world’.

  187. 187.

    Ago (1976), para. 155; ILC (1996), p. 60, Art. 19.

  188. 188.

    ILC (2001), p. 29, Arts. 40–41. Similarly, individual responsibility for environmental damage was excluded within the context of the Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (see Tomuschat (1996)).

  189. 189.

    Adopted 27 June 1981, in force 21 October 1986, 1520 UNTS 217.

  190. 190.

    See The Social and Economic Rights Action Centre, above n. 118, para. 49.

  191. 191.

    Annex 1 to the Brundtland Report (1987), principle 1.

  192. 192.

    Shue (2014), p. 58.

  193. 193.

    Available at https://www.seforall.org (accessed 3 July 2018).

  194. 194.

    See, for instance, Knox (2016), para. 78; CESCR (2016b), para. 54; CESCR (2017a), para. 12; CEDAW (2017a), para. 40.

  195. 195.

    See, for instance, Vandenbogaerde (2013), p. 208.

  196. 196.

    Nickel (1993), p. 285.

  197. 197.

    Principles 1 and 6.

  198. 198.

    OHCHR (2016b), pp. 2–5; CESCR (2017a), para. 11; CESCR (2017b), para. 43.

  199. 199.

    Knox (2016), paras. 76–77.

  200. 200.

    Adopted 23 May 1969, in force 23 May 1969, 1155 UNTS 331. See ILC (2006), paras. 37–43.

  201. 201.

    Kivalina (2009), above n. 6, p. 19.

  202. 202.

    Bell (2013), p. 167.

  203. 203.

    Bodansky (2017), p. 694.

  204. 204.

    Sands (2016), p. 31.

  205. 205.

    McInerney-Lankford, Darrow and Rajamani (2011), p. 46.

  206. 206.

    Stein and Castermans (2017), p. 318.

  207. 207.

    Juliana v. United States, 217 F Supp (3d) 1224, (D Or 2016), para. 82.

  208. 208.

    Ibid., Order of 1 May 2017, pp. 8–9.

  209. 209.

    Ibid. p. 8, emphasis added.

  210. 210.

    Ibid., p. 9.

  211. 211.

    Ibid., Orders of 25 May 2018 and 29 June 2018.

  212. 212.

    Ibid., Motion for summary judgment of 22 May 2018, pp. 7–14.

  213. 213.

    Knox (2018b), para. 14.

  214. 214.

    Ibid., para. 13.

References

  1. AComHPR (2016) Resolution on climate change and human rights in Africa. ACHPR/Res. 342(LVIII)

  2. Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (2015) Draft agreement and draft decision on workstreams 1 and 2. ADP-2-11

  3. Ago R (1976) Fifth report to the International Law Commission. UN Doc A/CN.4/291

  4. Atapattu S (2016) One step forward and two steps back or vice versa? Georgetown J Int Affairs 17:47–55

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Beckman W, Pasek J (2001) Justice, posterity, and the environment. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bell D (2013) Climate change and human rights. WIREs Clim Change 4:159–170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Blau J (2017) The Paris Agreement: climate change, solidarity and human rights. Palgrave MacMillan, Cham

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bodansky D (2017) The role of the International Court of Justice in addressing climate change: some preliminary reflections. Arizona State Law J 49:689–712

    Google Scholar 

  9. Boyle A (2012) Human rights and the environment: where next? Eur J Int Law 23:613–642

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Boyle A (2015) Human rights and the environment: where next? In: Boer B (ed) Environmental law dimension of human rights. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 201–239

    Google Scholar 

  11. Brundtland Report (1987) Summary of proposed legal principles for environmental protection and sustainable development adopted by the WCED Experts Group on Environmental Law. http://www.un-documents.net/ocf-a1.htm. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  12. CEDAW (2017a) Concluding observations on the combined seventh and eighth periodic reports of Nigeria. UN Doc C/NGA/CO/7-8

  13. CEDAW (2017b) Concluding observations on the ninth periodic report of Norway. UN Doc CEDAW/C/NOR/CO/9

  14. Centre for International Environmental Law and Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2018) States’ human rights obligations in the context of climate change: synthesis note on the concluding observations and recommendations on climate change adopted by UN human rights treaty bodies. https://www.ciel.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/HRTBs-synthesis-report.pdf. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  15. CESCR (1999a) The right to adequate food (Art. 11 of the Covenant). General Comment No 12. UN Doc E/C.12/1999/5

  16. CESCR (1999b) The right to education (Art. 13 of the Covenant). General Comment No 13. UN Doc E/C.12/1999/10

  17. CESCR (2000) The right to the highest attainable standard of health (Art. 12 of the Covenant). General Comment No 14. UN Doc E/C.12/2000/4

  18. CESCR (2003) The right to water (Arts. 11 and 12 of the Covenant). General Comment No 15. UN Doc E/C.12/2002/11

  19. CESCR (2009) Right of everyone to take part in cultural life (Art. 15, para 1(a), of the Covenant). UN Doc E/C.12/GC/21

  20. CESCR (2014) Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of Finland. UN Doc E/C.12/FIN/CO/6

  21. CESCR (2016a) Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of the Philippines. UN Doc E/C.12/PHL/CO/5-6

  22. CESCR (2016b) Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of Canada. UN Doc E/C.12/CAN/CO/6

  23. CESCR (2017a) Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of Australia. UN Doc E/C.12/AUS/CO/5

  24. CESCR (2017b) Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of the Russian Federation. UN Doc E/C.12/RUS/CO/6

  25. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (1996) Right to self-determination. General Recommendation No 21. https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=INT%2fCERD%2fGEC%2f7493&Lang=en. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  26. Coomans F, Künnemann R (2012) Cases and concepts on extraterritorial obligations in the area of economic, social and cultural rights. Intersentia, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  27. Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (2009) Drafting an Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the right to a healthy environment. Recommendation 1885. http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-EN.asp?fileid=17777&lang=en. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  28. Crawford J (1999) Revising the draft articles on State responsibility. Eur J Int Law 10:435–460

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. CRC (2013) Concluding observations on the initial report of Tuvalu. UN Doc CRC/C/TUV/CO/1

  30. CRC (2016) Concluding observations on the combined second and fourth periodic reports of Samoa. UN Doc CRC/C/WSM/CO/2-4

  31. CRC (2017) Concluding observations on combined second and third periodic reports of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. UN Doc CRC/C/VCT/CO/2-3

  32. De la Rosa JV (2014) The Arctic Athabaskan petition: where accelerated Arctic warming meets human rights. Cal W Int Law J 45:213–260

    Google Scholar 

  33. De Schutter O (2014) International human rights law. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  34. Deakin S, Johnston A, Marchesinis B (2013) Tort law, 7th edn. Clarendon, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  35. Delegation of the United States of America to the UN Human Rights Council (2015) Statement at the HRC 29 on human rights and climate change. https://geneva.usmission.gov/2015/07/02/u-s-statement-at-the-hrc-29-on-human-rights-and-climate-change. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  36. Depledge CC (2007) Sick of the weather: climate change, human health and international law. Envt’l Law Rev 9:231–240

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Elver H (2015) Interim report on the right to food. UN Doc A/70/287

  38. Expert Group on Global Climate Obligations (2015) Oslo Principles on global climate change obligations and commentary. https://globaljustice.yale.edu/oslo-principles-global-climate-change-obligations. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  39. Freedman R (2013) Third generation rights: is there room for hybrid constructs within international human rights law? Camb J Int Comp Law 2:935–959

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Gromilova M (2014) Revisiting planned relocation as a climate change adaptation strategy: the added value of a human rights-based approach. Utrecht Law Rev 10:76–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Hall M, Weiss D (2012) Avoiding adaptation apartheid: climate change adaptation and human rights law. Yale J Int Law 37:309–366

    Google Scholar 

  42. Harrington J (2007) Climate change, human rights, and the right to be cold. Fordham Environ Law Rev 18:513–535

    Google Scholar 

  43. Hayward T (2004) Constitutional environmental rights. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  44. Hiskes R (2006) Environmental human rights and intergenerational justice. HR Rev 7(3):81–95

    Google Scholar 

  45. Hohfeld WN (1913) Some fundamental legal conceptions as applied in judicial reasoning. Yale Law J 23:16–59

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. HRC (2008) Human rights and climate change. Resolution 7/23. A/HRC/RES/7/23

  47. HRC (2009) Human rights and climate change. Resolution 10/4. A/HRC/RES/10/4

  48. HRC (2018) Human rights and climate change. Resolution 35/20. A/HRC/35/20

  49. HRCte (2004) The nature of the general legal obligation imposed on States parties to the Covenant. General Comment No 31. UN Doc CCPR/C/21Rev.1/Add.13

  50. HRCte (2008) Concluding observations on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. UN Doc CCPR/C/GBR/CO/6

  51. HRCte (2010) Concluding observations on Israel. UN Doc CCPR/C/ISR/CO/3

  52. IAComHR (2006) Letter from Ariel E Dulitzky, Assistant Executive Secretary, to Paul Crowley, Legal Representative Inuit Petition. Petition P-1413-05. http://blogs2.law.columbia.edu/climate-change-litigation/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/non-us-case-documents/2006/20061116_na_decision.pdf. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  53. ILC (1996) Draft articles on State responsibility. UN Doc A/51/10

  54. ILC (2001) Draft articles on responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts. UN Doc A/56/10

  55. ILC (2006) Fragmentation of international law: difficulties arising from the diversification and expansion of international law. UN Doc A/CN.4/L.682

  56. IPCC (2001) Climate change: synthesis report. https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/vol4/english. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  57. IPCC (2014a) Climate change: synthesis report. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  58. IPCC (2014b) Climate change: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  59. Knox J (2009) Climate change and human rights law. Va J Int Law 50:163–218

    Google Scholar 

  60. Knox J (2012) Preliminary report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. UN Doc A/HRC/22/43

  61. Knox J (2013) Mapping report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. UN Doc A/HRC/25/53

  62. Knox J (2014) Focus report on human rights and climate change. http://srenvironment.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ClimateChangemapping15-August1.pdf. Accessed 9 Aug 2018

  63. Knox J (2015) Report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. UN Doc A/HRC/28/61

  64. Knox J et al (2015) The effects of climate change on the full enjoyment of human rights. Report to the Climate Vulnerable Forum. https://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/PageFiles/735291/Petitioners-and-Annexes/Annex_B-1-Expert_Report_Human_Rights_by_John_Knox_UN_Special_Rapporteur_for_Human_Rights_and_the_Environment.pdf. Accessed 9 Aug 2018

  65. Knox J (2016) Report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. UN Doc A/HRC/31/52

  66. Knox J (2017) Report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. UN Doc A/HRC/34/49

  67. Knox J (2018a) Report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. UN Doc A/HRC/37/58

  68. Knox J (2018b) Report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. UN Doc A/HRC/37/59

  69. Koivurova T, Duyck S, Heinämäki L (2013) Climate change and human rights. In: Hollo E, Kulovesi K, Mehling M (eds) Climate change and the law. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 287–325

    Google Scholar 

  70. Ksentini FZ (1994) Report on human rights and the environment: review of further developments in fields with which the sub-commission has been concerned. UN Doc E.CN.4/Sub.2/1994/9

  71. Lawson S (2011) The conundrum of climate change causation: using market share liability to satisfy the identification requirement in Native Village of Kivalina v. Exxonmobil Co. Fordham Environ Law Rev 22:433–492

    Google Scholar 

  72. Limon M (2009) Human rights and climate change: constructing a case for political action. Harv Environ Law Rev 33:439–476

    Google Scholar 

  73. McInerney-Lankford S, Darrow M, Rajamani L (2011) Human rights and climate change: a review of the international legal dimensions. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/903741468339577637/pdf/613080PUB0Huma158344B09780821387207.pdf. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

    Google Scholar 

  74. Nickel JW (1993) The human right to a safe environment: philosophical perspectives on its scope and justification. Yale J Int Law 18:281–296

    Google Scholar 

  75. OAS (1997) Draft American Declaration of the rights of Indigenous Peoples. http://www.cidh.oas.org/Indigenas/Indigenas.en.01/Preamble.htm. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  76. OAS (2008) Human rights and climate change in the Americas. General Assembly Resolution 2429 (XXXVIII-O/08)

  77. OHCHR (2009) Report on the relationship between climate change and human rights. UN Doc A/HRC/10/61

  78. OHCHR (2011) Analytical study on the relationship between human rights and the environment. UN Doc A/HRC/19/34

  79. OHCHR (2016a) Analytical study on the relationship between climate change and the human right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. UN Doc A/HRC/32/23

  80. OHCHR (2016b) Response to the request of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement for views and guidance related to intended nationally determined contributions, adaption communications, the transparency framework, and the global stocktake, and for information, views and proposals on any work of the APA. UN Doc FCCC/APA/2016/2

  81. Osofsky HM (2009) The Inuit petition as a bridge? Beyond dialectics of climate change and indigenous peoples’ rights. In: Burns W, Osofsky H (eds) Adjudicating climate change: State, national, and international approaches. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 272–291

    Google Scholar 

  82. Peloffy K (2013) Kivalina v. Exxonmobil: a comparative case comment. McGill Int J Sustain Dev Law Pol 9:119–144

    Google Scholar 

  83. Posner E (2007) Climate change and international human rights litigation: a critical appraisal. Univ Pa Law Rev 155:1925–1945

    Google Scholar 

  84. Samaan W (2011) Enforcement of international environmental treaties: an analysis. Fordham Environ Law J 5:261–283

    Google Scholar 

  85. Sands P (2016) Climate change and the rule of law: adjudicating the future in international law. J Environ Law 28:19–35

    Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Shelton D (1991) Human rights, environmental rights and the right to environment. Stanf J Int Law 28:103-138

  87. Shelton D (2009) Litigating a rights-based approach to climate change. George Washington University. https://scholarship.law.gwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1235&context=faculty_publications. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  88. Shue E (2014) Changing images of climate change: human rights and future generations. JHRE 5(2):50–64

    Article  Google Scholar 

  89. Stein E, Castermans AG (2017) Urgenda v. the State of the Netherlands: the ‘reflex effect’—climate change, human rights, and the expanding definitions of the duty of care. McGill J Sustain Dev Law 13:303–324

    Google Scholar 

  90. Tomuschat C (1996) Document on crimes against the environment. UN Doc ILC(XLVIII)/DC/CRD.3

  91. Trump D (2017) Statement on the Paris Climate Accord. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-president-trump-paris-climate-accord. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  92. UN (2015) Sustainable development goals. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  93. UNESCO (1999) Declaration of Bizkaia on the right to environment. UN Doc 30 C/INF.11

  94. UNFCCC (2008) Kyoto Protocol reference manual on accounting of emissions and assigned amount. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/08_unfccc_kp_ref_manual.pdf. Accessed 6 Aug 2018

  95. UNFCCC (2011) Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol at its sixteenth session. Draft decision -/CMP.7. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/awgkp_outcome.pdf. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  96. UNFCCC (2015) Adoption of the Paris Agreement. UN Doc FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1

  97. UNFCCC (2018a) Status of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/doha_amendment/items/7362.php. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  98. UNFCCC (2018b) Paris Agreement—Status of ratification. https://unfccc.int/process/the-paris-agreement/status-of-ratification. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  99. UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (2014) Elements for a draft negotiating text. UN Doc ADP.2014.11

  100. US (2008) Observations on the relationship between climate change and human rights. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/ClimateChange/Submissions/USA.pdf. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  101. US Environmental Protection Agency (2017) Global greenhouse gas emissions data. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

  102. Vandenbogaerde A (2013) The right to development in international human rights law: a call for its dissolution. NQHR 31:187–209

    Google Scholar 

  103. Varhuas J (2016) Damages and human rights. Hart, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  104. Vihma A (2013) Analysing soft law and hard law in climate change. In: Hollo E, Kulovesi K, Mehling M (eds) Climate change and the law. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 143–164

    Google Scholar 

  105. Voigt C (2008) State responsibility for climate change damage. Nordic J Int Law 77:1–22

    Article  Google Scholar 

  106. Weston B, Bollier D (2013) Green governance: ecological survival, human rights, and the law of the commons. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  107. Willcox S (2012) A rising tide: the implications of climate change inundation for human rights and State sovereignty. Essex HR Law Rev 9:1–19

    Google Scholar 

  108. World Conference on Human Rights (1993) Vienna declaration and programme of action. https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/vienna.aspx. Accessed 3 Jul 2018

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ottavio Quirico.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Quirico, O. Climate Change and State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations: Causation and Imputation. Neth Int Law Rev 65, 185–215 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40802-018-0110-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions
  • Human rights
  • Fundamental right to a sustainable environment
  • State responsibility
  • Causation
  • Attribution of responsibility