Research Handbook on Global Climate Constitutionalism
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Research Handbook on Global Climate Constitutionalism

Edited by Jordi Jaria-Manzano and Susana Borrás

Climate change is causing traditional political and legal concepts to be revisited. The emergence of a global polity through physical, economic and social interaction demands global responses which should be founded upon new principles and which cannot simply be modelled on traditional constitutionalism centred on the nation-state. This Research Handbook explores how to build this climate constitutionalism at a global level, starting from the narrative of Anthropocene and its implications for law. It provides a critical approach to global environmental constitutionalism, analysing the problems of sustainability and global equity which are entwined with the causes and consequences of climate change. The Handbook explores how to develop constitutional discourses and strategies to address these issues, and thereby tackle the negative effects of climate change whilst also advancing a more sustainable, equitable and responsible global society.
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Chapter 6: Global environmental constitutionalism as a constitutionalism of the Earth

José Rubens Morato Leite and Patryck de Araujo Ayala


In a society of global risks, caring for nature is just one of the many tasks assigned to the rule of law, which is required to respect plural values. This chapter aims to demonstrate that if nature is indeed one of the relevant values of our plural and global society, and if the protection of nature is and must be a value of global relevance in different legal orders and their constitutional projects, achieving these objectives will require us to address at least three challenges aimed at transforming the established relationship between the law – through a certain model of constitutionalism – and nature. Accordingly, a constitutionalism devoted to protecting nature depends on: (1) a rule of law which considers that people are not paramount; (2) recognition that people, nature and all forms of life have value for the purpose of their protection and; (3) an awareness that the protection of nature is not a moral or ethical goal in global societies, but rather a problem of justice – ecological justice. Faced with these challenges, the so-called ‘constitutionalism of the Earth’ presents itself as an alternative way to approach law and nature within the framework of global constitutional dialogues. This path can be constructed by consideration of the principle of ecological integrity both by the courts and in national and international normative production.

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