The climate change dimension of human rights: due diligence and states’ positive obligations
  • 1 Professor of Law, University of Oslo, Department of Public and International Law

This article analyses the substantive content of human rights obligations in Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the context of the Paris Agreement. It presents the argument that to comply with the positive obligation to secure human rights from the threats of climate change impacts, ECHR parties must take all adequate and appropriate measures at the level of their highest possible ambition to hold temperature increases to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to hold them to 1.5°C. Achieving this temperature goal necessitates the immediate, rapid, deep and sustained reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions so as to achieve a balance of emissions and removals (‘global climate neutrality’) by mid-century and net-negative GHG emissions thereafter. This requires each state to act with due diligence in having a comprehensive, effective and fair legal, administrative and institutional framework in place in order to pursue this temperature goal and to ensure its implementation, compliance and enforcement.

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