Climate Rights: Feasible or Not?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Scholars have argued that we have compelling reasons to combat climate change because it threatens human rights, referred to here as ‘climate rights’. The prospects of climate rights are analysed assuming two basic desiderata: its accuracy in capturing the normative dimension of climate change (reasons to prevent/mitigate/adapt to climate change); and its ability to generate political measures. In order for climate rights to meet these desiderata certain conditions must be satisfied: important human interests are put at risk by global climate change; there is an identified rights-holder and obligation-bearer; this relationship is codified in a legitimate formal structure; it is feasible to claim the rights; an ‘enforcement mechanism’ (not necessarily of legal character) could strengthen compliance. When asserting climate rights it is insufficient to consider the moral ground or actual enforcement possibilities by themselves. Normative and practical aspects are closely interlinked and must be studied in tandem.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • climate change, human rights, climate rights, feasibility, enforceability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-409
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

View all (1)