Edited by Panagiotis Delimatsis
The concept of a state responsibility to protect (R2P) populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing has been embraced by the international community to acknowledge its obligation to assist distant others when they are threatened with massive violations of their human rights. A more complete vision of R2P would imply that each state—ideally cooperating with all states, but acting alone if necessary—must begin to act so as to prevent threatening situations from arising in the first place and to rebuild societies to ensure comprehensive human security for the future. What would this mean for the trading system and in particular, for the connections between trade and climate change? In this chapter, we present a concept of state duties to protect what is significantly different from international law’s self-conception as a system reflecting a belief in the priority of a state’s sovereign rights. That view, we find fails to offer any grounds for declaring any R2P obligation to address climate change. Instead, we suggest a new paradigm for trade and climate change that would form the basis for a newly conceived role of the state: that of protecting human security.
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