Chatham House
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The trickle-up effect of rights-based climate litigation


With governments failing in their pledges and companies accused of ‘green-washing’, human rights-based litigation is increasingly important for accountability.

Tuvalu’s foreign minister addressing COP26 while standing knee-deep in seawater was a stark illustration of how the climate emergency directly and imminently threatens the most basic human rights protected under international law – including to the right to life, self-determination and cultural rights.

Human rights are now a fundamental component of more than 90 per cent of the climate litigation currently taking place outside the US, highlighting the international reach of human rights law and how its emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable helps diverse communities find common arguments for shared goals.

Cases are set to continue and to evolve but three types of claim are emerging, each of which is examined in a new Chatham House research paper.

Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.


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