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The role of human rights in environmental governance : the challenge of climate change

Inter-Disciplinary Press
Publication Date
  • 180111 Environmental And Natural Resources Law
  • 180114 Human Rights Law
  • Human Rights
  • Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Justice
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Law


The role of human rights in environmental governance is increasingly gaining attention. This is particularly the case in relation to the challenge of climate change, where there is growing recognition of a real threat to human rights. This chapter argues in favour of greater reference to human rights principles in environmental governance. It refers to the experiences of Torres Strait Islanders to demonstrate the impact of climate change on human rights, and the many benefits which can be gained from a greater consideration of human rights norms in the development of strategies to combat climate change. The chapter also argues that a human rights perspective can help address the underlying injustice of climate change: that it is the people who have contributed least to the problem who will bear the heaviest burden of its effects.

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