John H. Knox
This chapter examines the application of international human rights law to climate change. Specifically, it looks at whether climate change interferes with the enjoyment of human rights recognized in international law, and how human rights law requires states to protect human rights from such interference. Human rights law imposes procedural and substantive obligations upon states with respect to environmental threats to human rights. States have obligations to ensure that decisions with possible environmental effects are made through a process that provides for examination and dissemination of information about those effects, full and informed participation by those potentially affected, and effective legal remedies. However, there are obstacles to the application of human rights principles to climate change. The chapter describes some of these challenges, such as the difficulty of tracing clear causal links between anthropogenic contributions to climate change and the effects of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights.