Human rights of minors and future generations: Global trends and EU environmental law particularities

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A growing global wave of climate change litigation is led by minors, relying on their human rights, as well as those of future generations against governments and their failure to take action on climate change. Such litigation is emerging also before the Court of Justice of the European Union, where the ambitiousness of the EU’s climate change policies, embodied in the 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework, is challenged. This may suggest a possible ‘rights turn’ in EU climate change litigation, where the use of rights claims intensifies and allows stakeholders traditionally excluded from decision making to raise their concerns in a judicial forum. This article explains why this trend has failed to materialize in the EU through an analysis of EU environmental law particularities. From this view, it shows the shortcomings of the 2030 Framework, and by drawing inspiration from successful enforcement of statutory obligations in EU air quality legislation, the article suggests how these may be remedied in future legislative action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
JournalReview of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law

Free keywords

  • Human Rights
  • Environmental Law
  • EU law

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