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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a cartography of environmental human rights, with particular emphasis on the current and potential contribution of human rights in augmenting global environmental protection and justice. It first provides a short account of the relationship between human rights and the environment, including the increased popularity of human rights as environmental protection measures, and explains the reasons the convergence between them. It then considers the historical milestones in the development of environmental human rights, along with the different manifestations of the rights-based approach (substantive political environmental rights, socio-economic environmental rights, procedural environmental rights, substantive right to a healthy environment, and rights of nature). Specific examples in international, regional, and domestic law where these forms of the rights-based approach occur are given. The chapter concludes with a discussion of three overarching criticisms of environmental human rights, one of which asserts that rights-based approaches have been ineffective in securing human rights.

Keywords: environmental human rights, comparative environmental law, substantive political environmental rights, socio-economic environmental rights, procedural environmental rights, right to a healthy environment, rights of nature

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