New Challenges for Poverty Reduction
Edited by M. A. Mohamed Salih
Chapter 5: A Child Rights Perspective on Climate Change
Karin Arts1 The environmental and economic dimensions of climate change increasingly receive substantive attention, both globally and nationally. However the social dimensions of climate change are still largely neglected. This applies to the human rights dimensions of climate change even more strongly. From the point of view of the likely impact of climate change on people’s future living conditions across the globe, these oversights are unfortunate. From the point of view of international law, these oversights are problematic and inconsistent. This position and the issues raised by it are most compelling when one explores a child2 rights perspective on climate change. As will be elaborated in more detail in this chapter, the justification for focusing on children is that they (as well as their children), are the group that will be most affected and in largest numbers by climate change in the future. Problematic in this regard is the fact that the most important global legal instruments that seek to address climate change – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol – do not provide for a procedure for people, children included, to seek redress for injury caused by climate change. The qualification ‘inconsistent’ arises from the circumstances that, except the United States of America, all 191 other States party to the FCCC have also ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Likewise all 181 states party to the Kyoto Protocol are simultaneously party to the CRC.3 This chapter argues that...
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