Climate change regime as the basis for the protection of human rights: enforcing the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement through climate litigation
Climate change continues to have adverse implications for the fulfillment of human rights worldwide. Unfortunately, after almost 30 years, since the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, there still is no international climate change instrument that can effectively implement international law norms, prevent the further deterioration of the climate as well as ensure and protect the enjoyment of human rights in relation to climate change, as 2017’s temperatures stand to show. This master’s thesis seeks to answer the question, to what extent is it possible to invoke the provisions of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the recently adopted and entered into force Paris Agreement, to ensure and protect the enjoyment of human rights against the adverse effects of climate change. This thesis examines the use of climate change litigation as an alternative way to force governments to combat climate change, so as to ensure and protect the fulfillment of human rights against the adverse effects of climate change. More broadly, it investigates the capacity of courts at the national level to enforce states’ obligations under the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and especially the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change and ensure and protect the effective enjoyment of human rights against the harm caused by climate change.