Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-7drxs Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-21T20:26:33.620Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Addressing Climate Change through International Human Rights Law: From (Extra)Territoriality to Common Concern of Humankind

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2021

Vincent Bellinkx*
Faculty of Law, Law and Development Research Group, University of Antwerp (Belgium).
Deborah Casalin
Faculty of Law, Law and Development Research Group, University of Antwerp (Belgium); Faculty of Law, Department of Public Law, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth (South Africa). Email:
Gamze Erdem Türkelli
Faculty of Law, Law and Development Research Group, University of Antwerp (Belgium); Post-Doctoral Fellow in Fundamental Research, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), (No: 12Q1719N), Brussels (Belgium). Email:
Werner Scholtz
School of Law, University of Southampton (United Kingdom); Faculty of Law, Centre for Global Environmental Law, University of the Western Cape, Bellville (South Africa). Email:
Wouter Vandenhole
Faculty of Law, Law and Development Research Group, University of Antwerp (Belgium). Email:
Email: (corresponding author).


International human rights law (IHRL) offers potential responses to the consequences of climate change. However, the focus of IHRL on territorial jurisdiction and the causation-based allocation of obligations does not match the global nature of climate change impacts and their indirect causation. The primary aim of this article is to respond to the jurisdictional challenge of IHRL in the context of climate change, including its indirect, slow-onset consequences such as climate change migration. It does so by suggesting a departure from (extra)territoriality and an embrace of global international cooperation obligations in IHRL. The notion of common concern of humankind (CCH) in international environmental law offers conceptual inspiration for the manner in which burden sharing between states may facilitate international cooperation in response to global problems. Such a reconfiguration of the jurisdictional tenets of IHRL is central to enabling a meaningful human rights response to the harmful consequences of climate change.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1 See Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 2014, ‘Summary for Policymakers’, in C.B. Field et al. (eds), Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 1–32, available at: See also C.P. Carlarne, K.R. Gray & R.G. Tarasofsky, ‘International Climate Change Law: Mapping the Field’, in C.P. Carlarne, K.R. Gray & R.G. Tarasofsky (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law (Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 3–25.

2 J.H. Knox, ‘Human Rights Principles and Climate Change’, in Carlarne, Gray & Tarasofsky (eds), ibid., pp. 213–38.

3 See Section 2.3 below.

4 New York, NY (US), 9 May 1992, in force 21 Mar. 1994, available at:

5 Paris (France), 12 Dec. 2015, in force 4 Nov. 2016 available at:

6 It is not the authors’ intent to reiterate the discourse on the relationship between human rights and environmental protection. For one of the first important scholarly contributions see A.E. Boyle & M. Anderson (eds), Human Rights Approaches to Environmental Protection (Clarendon Press, 1996); for a recent authoritative discussion see Boyle, A.E., ‘Human Rights and the Environment: Where Next?’ (2013) 23(3) European Journal of International Law, pp. 613–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also H. Leib, Human Rights and the Environment: Philosophical, Theoretical and Legal Perspectives (Martinus Nijhoff, 2011); P.-M. Dupuy & J.E. Viñuales, International Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 107–46, 357–409; and J.R. May & E. Daly, Human Rights and the Environment: Legality, Indivisibility, Dignity and Geography (Edward Elgar, 2019).

7 Boyle, ibid., p. 613.

8 Ibid.

9 See, e.g., Soveroski, M., ‘Environmental Rights versus Environmental Wrongs: Forum over Substance’ (2008) 16(3) Review of European Community & International Environmental Law, pp. 261–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

10 See J.R. May & E. Daly, Global Environmental Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

11 Nairobi (Kenya), 27 June 1981, in force 21 Oct. 1986, available at:, Art. 24 of which reads: ‘All peoples shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development’. See W. Scholtz, ‘Human Rights and the Environment in the African Union Context’, in A. Grear & L.J. Kotzé (eds), Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment (Edward Elgar, 2015), pp. 401–20; A. Meijknecht, ‘The Contribution of the Inter-American Human Rights System to Sustainable Development’, in W. Scholtz & J. Verschuuren (eds), Regional Environmental Law: Transregional Comparative Lessons in Pursuit of Sustainable Development (Edward Elgar, 2015), pp. 177–219.

12 L.J. Kotzé, ‘In Search of a Right to a Healthy Environment in International Law’, in J.H. Knox & R. Pejan (eds), Human Rights and a Healthy Environment (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 136–54.

13 UN Conference on the Human Environment 1972, Stockholm (Sweden), 16 June 1972, UN Doc. A/Conf.48/14/Rev. 1(1973), available at: Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration refers to a person's ‘fundamental right to … adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being’, whereas there is no similar formulation in the 1992 Rio Declaration, adopted by the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 3–14 June 1992, UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (Vol. I), 14 June 1992, available at:

14 See n. 4 above.

15 UNHRC, Resolution 10/4, ‘Human Rights and Climate Change’, 25 Mar. 2009, UN Doc. A/HRC/RES/10/4.

16 See para 8 of Decision 1/CP.16 adopted at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC, which emphasizes that ‘parties should in all climate change related actions, fully respect human rights’: Decision 1/CP.16, ‘The Cancun Agreements: Outcome of the Work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention’, 10–11 Dec. 2010, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2010/7/Add.1.

17 N. 5 above.

18 UNHCR, ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment on the Issue of Human Rights Obligations relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment’, 1 Feb. 2016, UN Doc. A/HRC/31/52, para. 33.

19 Ibid.; see also UNHRC, ‘General Comment 36 (2018) on Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on the Right to Life’, 30 Oct. 2018, UN Doc. CCPR/C/GC/36, paras 7, 26, 62; UNHRC, Portillo Cáceres v. Paraguay, 9 Aug. 2019, No. 2751/2016, CCPR/C/126/D/2751/2016, paras 7.3–7.6 (regarding protection from environmental harm more generally); UNHRC, Teitiota v. New Zealand, 24 Oct. 2019, UN Doc. CCPR/C/127/D/2728/2016, paras 9.8–9.14 (implicitly regarding protection from climate change effects in particular).

20 J. Knox, ‘Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment’, 24 Feb. 2018, UN Doc. A/HRC/37/59.

21 IACtHR, Advisory Opinion OC-23/17 of 15 Nov. 2017 requested by the Republic of Colombia: The Environment and Human Rights (State Obligations in relation to the Environment in the Context of the Protection and Guarantee of the Rights to Life and to Personal Integrity: Interpretation and Scope of Articles 4(1) and 5(1) in relation to Articles 1(1) and 2 of the American Convention on Human Rights), para. 57.

22 IACtHR, Caso Comunidades Indígenas Miembros de la Asociación Lhaka Honhat (Nuestra Tierra) v. Argentina, Merits, Reparations and Costs, 6 Feb. 2020, paras 202 and 209. The judgment states (para. 209): ‘Además, la Corte ha tenido en cuenta que diversos derechos pueden verse afectados a partir de problemáticas ambientales, y que ello “puede darse con mayor intensidad en determinados grupos en situación de vulnerabilidad”, entre los que se encuentran los pueblos indígenas y “las comunidades que dependen, económicamente o para su supervivencia, fundamentalmente de los recursos ambientales, [como] las áreas forestales o los dominios fluviales”. Por lo dicho “con base en ‘la normativa internacional de derechos humanos, los Estados están jurídicamente obligados a hacer frente a esas vulnerabilidades, de conformidad con el principio de igualdad y no discriminación’” [footnotes omitted]’ [‘In addition, the Court has taken into account the fact that various rights may be affected by environmental problems and that these “may be felt more intensively by certain groups that are in a vulnerable situation”, among which are indigenous peoples and “communities that economically depend for their survival fundamentally on environmental resources, [such as] forested areas or river beds”. Hence, “pursuant to ‘human rights law, States are legally obliged to confront these vulnerabilities in conformity with the principles of equality and non-discrimination'”.']

23 Knox, J.H., ‘Climate Change and Human Rights Law’ (2009) 50(1) Virginia Journal of International Law, pp. 163218Google Scholar, at 213.

24 Ibid., p. 213.

25 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Frequently Asked Questions on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Development Cooperation (UN, 2006), p. 15.

26 European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, ‘Applying a Human Rights-Based Approach’, available at:

27 See Boyle, n. 6 above , p. 618.

28 L. Olsson et al., ‘Livelihoods and Poverty’ in Field et al., n. 1 above, pp. 793–832, at 796, and IPCC: 2014, ‘Summary for Policymakers’, n. 1 above, p. 5, respectively.

29 Paris (France), 10 Dec. 1948, UNGA Res. 217A (III), UN Doc. A/810, 71, available at:

30 S.B. Starr, ‘The Right to an Effective Remedy: Balancing Realism and Aspiration’, in M.A. Baderin & M. Ssenyojo (eds), International Human Rights Law: Six Decades after the UDHR and Beyond (Routledge, 2010), pp. 477–98, at 477.

31 OHCHR & Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Who Will Be Accountable? Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda (UN, 2013),

33 Ibid.

34 Wewerinke-Singh, M., ‘Remedies for Human Rights Violations Caused by Climate Change’ (2019) 9(3) Climate Law, pp. 224–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

35 Aarhus (Denmark), 25 June 1998, in force 30 Oct. 2001, available at:

36 E.g., In the Urgenda case, Art. 3:305A of the Dutch Civil Code was applied, which allows any foundation established in the Netherlands to bring a public interest claim before Dutch courts, using the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as a basis: Stichting Urgenda v. Government of the Netherlands (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment), Rechtbank Den Haag [District Court of The Hague], C/09/456689/HA ZA 13-1396, 24 June 2015, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2015:7145; Zeben, J. van, ‘Establishing a Governmental Duty of Care for Climate Change Mitigation: Will Urgenda Turn the Tide?’ (2015) 4(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 339–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Mayer, B., ‘The State of the Netherlands v. Urgenda Foundation: Ruling of the Court of Appeal of The Hague (9 October 2018)’ (2019) 8(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 167–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

37 Knox, n. 23 above, p. 200.

38 UN HRC, ‘Analytical Study on the Relationship between Human Rights and the Environment: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights’, 16 Dec. 2011, UN Doc. A/HRC/19/34, available at:; UN HRC, Resolution 16/11, ‘Human Rights and the Environment’, 12 Apr. 2011, UN Doc. A/HRC/RES/16/11, available at: (requesting the OHCHR to conduct a detailed analytical study on the relationship between human rights and environmental law).

39 Analytical Study, ibid., section IX.

40 Ibid., para. 64.

41 Ibid., para. 66. The analytical study further affirms that extraterritorial economic, social and cultural rights are of particular importance in relation to environmental degradation (para. 68).

42 Limon, E. Cameron & M., ‘Restoring the Climate by Realizing Rights: The Role of the International Human Rights System’ (2012) 21(3) Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, pp. 204–19Google Scholar, at 209.

43 W. Vandenhole, ‘The J-Word: Driver or Spoiler of Change in Human Rights Law?’, in S. Allen et al. (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Jurisdiction in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 413–30.

44 Knox, n. 23 above, p. 210.

45 E. Jakobson, ‘Norm Formalization in International Policy Cooperation: A Framework for Analysis’, in S. Behrman & A. Kent (eds), Climate Refugees: Beyond the Legal Impasse? (Routledge, 2018), p. 65.

46 F.E.G. Coomans & M.T. Kamminga, Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties (Intersentia, 2006); S. Skogly, Beyond National Borders: States’ Human Rights Obligations in International Cooperation (Intersentia, 2006); M.E. Salomon, Global Responsibility for Human Rights: World Poverty and the Development of International Law (Oxford University Press, 2007); M. Langford et al. (eds), Global Justice, State Duties: The Extraterritorial Scope of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013); W. Vandenhole (ed.), Challenging Territoriality in Human Rights Law: Building Blocks for a Plural and Diverse Duty-Bearer Regime (Routledge, 2015).

47 UN Economic and Social Council, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), ‘General Comment No. 24 (2017) on State Obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of Business Activities’, 10 Aug. 2017, UN Doc. E/C.12/GC/24, paras 25–37, available at:

48 See, e.g., ECtHR, Al Skeini and Others v. United Kingdom, App. No. 55721/07, 7 Jul. 2011, paras 130–42. For an extensive discussion of so-called spatial and personal models of jurisdiction, see M. Milanovic, Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties: Law, Principles, and Policy (Oxford University Press, 2011).

49 ECtHR, Banković and Others v. Belgium and Others, App. No. 52207/99, 12 Dec. 2001, para. 75.

50 HRC, Mohammad Munaf v. Romania, App. No. 1539/2006, 13 July 2009, CCPR/C/96/DR/1539/2006, para. 14.2.

51 HRC, Basem Ahmed Issa Yassin and Others v. Canada, App. No. 2285/2013, 26 Oct. 2017, CCPR/C/120/D/2285/2013, para. 6.7.

52 IACHR, Franklin Guillermo Aisalla Molina and Ecuador v. Colombia, 21 Oct. 2010, Report No. 112/10, para. 98.

54 IACtHR, Advisory Opinion OC-23/17, n. 21 above, para. 101.

55 Ibid., paras 57 and 62.

56 M.J. Chávarro, The Human Right to Water: A Legal Comparative Perspective at the International, Regional and Domestic Level (Intersentia, 2015).

57 IACtHR, Advisory Opinion OC-23/17, n. 21 above.

58 For a discussion of the meaning of jurisdiction in human rights law: M. den Heijer & R. Lawson, ‘Extraterritorial Human Rights and the Concept of Jurisdiction’, in Langford et al., n. 46 above, pp. 153–91.

59 U. Beyerlin, ‘Environmental Migration and International Law’, in H.P. Hestermeyer et al. (eds), Coexistence, Cooperation and Solidarity: Liber Amicorum Rüdiger Wolfrum, Vol. I (Martinus Nijhoff, 2011), pp. 319–32, at 328.

60 See, e.g., Mayer, B., ‘Migration in the UNFCCC Workstream on Loss and Damage: An Assessment of Alternative Framings and Conceivable Responses’ (2017) 6(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 107–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar; J. McAdam, Climate Change, Migration and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 15–38; Gemenne, F., ‘Climate-Induced Population Displacements in a 4C+ World’ (2011) 369(1934) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, pp. 182–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

61 W. Kälin & H. Entwisle Chapuisat, ‘Displacement in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change’, in S.C. Breau & K.L.H. Samuel (eds), Research Handbook on Disasters and International Law (Edward Elgar, 2016), pp. 358–82, at 361. On the growing prevalence of this type of migration in future see International Organization for Migration, ‘Migration, Climate Change and the Environment: A Complex Nexus’, available at: On the cross-border aspect, in particular, see The Nansen Initiative, ‘Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change, Vol. 1’, Dec. 2015, paras 4–7, available at: On multi-causality see E. Ferris, ‘Governance and Climate Change-Induced Mobility: International and Regional Frameworks’, in D. Manou et al. (eds), Climate Change, Migration and Human Rights: Law and Policy Perspectives (Routledge, 2017), pp. 13–4; F. Crépeau, ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants’, 13 Aug. 2012, UN Doc. A/67/299, paras 31–9.

62 See, e.g., J. Heita, Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Namibia (International Organization for Migration, 2018), pp. 12–6; Henderson, J.V., Storeygard, A. & Deichmann, U., ‘Has Climate Change Driven Urbanization in Africa?’ (2017) 124 Journal of Development Economics, pp. 6082CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed, at 77; Addaney, M., Boshoff, E. & Olutola, B., ‘The Climate Change and Human Rights Nexus in Africa’ (2017) 9(3) Amsterdam Law Forum, pp. 528CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 13–4; Mastrorillo, M. et al. , ‘The Influence of Climate Variability on Internal Migration Flows in South Africa’ (2016) 39 Global Environmental Change, pp. 155–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 160–1. On the cross-border aspect see The Nansen Initiative, ibid., paras 3–7.

63 See Ferris, n. 61 above, pp. 19–21; Kälin & Entwisle Chapuisat, n. 61 above, pp. 376–8.

64 See The Nansen Initiative, n. 61 above.

65 See, e.g., UNHRC, Teitiota v. New Zealand, n. 19 above.

66 Maastricht Principles, n. 53 above, Principles 9(c) and (d), respectively.

67 Ibid., Principle 8b.

68 De Schutter, O. et al. , ‘Commentary to the Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ (2012) 34(4) Human Rights Quarterly, pp. 1084–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 1104.

69 Knox, n. 20 above, paras 33 and 43, respectively.

70 Ibid., para. 41.

71 Charter of the United Nations, San Francisco, CA (US), 26 June 1945, in force 24 Oct. 1945, available at:

72 New York, NY (US), 16 Dec. 1966, in force 3 Jan. 1976, available at:

73 New York, NY (US), 20 Nov. 1989, in force 2 Sept. 1990, available at:

74 Knox, n. 20 above, paras 43–4.

75 Knox, n. 23 above, p. 168.

76 A. Nollkaemper & D. Jacobs (eds), Principles of Shared Responsibility in International Law: An Appraisal of the State of the Art (Cambridge University Press, 2014); A. Nollkaemper & D. Jacobs (eds), Distribution of Responsibilities in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

77 N. van der Have, ‘The Right to Development and State Responsibility: Can States be Held to Account?’, Amsterdam Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-23, Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Apr. 2013, available at:

78 OHCHR, ‘Key Messages on Human Rights and Climate Change’, Submission of the OHCHR to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, Nov. 2015, available at:

79 Ibid.

80 See Wewerinke-Singh, n. 34 above, pp. 229–34.

81 Urgenda, n. 36 above. See also A. Nollkaemper & L. Burgers, ‘A New Classic in Climate Change Litigation: The Dutch Supreme Court Decision in the Urgenda Case’, EJIL: Talk!, 6 Jan. 2020, available at:

82 M. Hesselman, ‘Sharing International Responsibility for the Protection of Poor Migrants? An Analysis of Extraterritorial Socio-Economic Human Rights Law’ (2013) 15(2) European Journal of Social Security, pp. 107–208, at 193.

83 UNHRC, Teitiota v. New Zealand, n. 19 above (the UN human rights treaty body system's first individual petition relating to the human rights impact of climate change did not directly address state responsibility for these impacts, but rather (unsuccessfully) challenged New Zealand's fulfilment of non-refoulement obligations in respect of a migrant who was deported back to Kiribati, where it was asserted that those impacts posed a threat to the petitioner's right to life).

84 Sacchi et al. v. Argentina et al., Communication to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 23 Sept. 2019, paras 176–82, available at:; The other claim, submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee by a group of Torres Strait Islanders against Australia, does not appear to contain any extraterritorial element: Client Earth, ‘Torres Strait FAQ’, available at:

85 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, Committee on the Rights of the Child, Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ‘Joint Statement on Human Rights and Climate Change’, 16 Sept. 2019, available at:

86 Knox, n. 23 above, p. 211.

87 N. 4 above, Preamble, para. 1.

88 For a discussion: W. Scholtz, ‘Human Rights and Climate Change: Extending the Extraterritorial Dimension via the Common Concern’, in W. Benedek et al. (eds), The Common Interest in International Law (Intersentia, 2014), pp. 127–42, at 134.

89 P. Birnie, A.E. Boyle & C. Redgwell, International Law and the Environment (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 128. The existence of such an interest does not depend on the existence of transboundary harm.

90 K. De Feyter, ‘The Common Interest in International Law: Challenging Human Rights’, in Vandenhole, n. 46 above, pp. 158–87.

91 Scholtz, n. 88 above, p. 138.

92 Ferreira, C. Voigt & F., ‘“Dynamic Differentiation”: The Principles of CBDR-RC, Progression and Highest Possible Ambition in the Paris Agreement’ (2016) 5(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 285303Google Scholar, at 286.

93 Ibid., p. 287.

94 P. Cullet, ‘Differential Treatment in International Law: Towards a New Paradigm of Inter-state Relations’ (1999) 10(3) European Journal of International Law, pp. 549–82, at 577.

95 Voigt & Ferreira, n. 92 above, p. 286.

96 Cullet, P., ‘Differential Treatment in Environmental Law: Addressing Critiques and Conceptualizing the Next Steps’ (2016) 5(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 305–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 307.

97 N. 4 above; Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC, Kyoto (Japan), 11 Dec. 1997, in force 16 Feb. 2005, available at: See L. Rajamani, ‘Ambition and Differentiation in the 2015 Paris Agreement: Interpretative Possibilities and Underlying Politics’ (2016) 65(2) International & Comparative Law Quarterly, pp. 493–514, at 509.

98 C.D. Stone, ‘Common But Differentiated Responsibilities in International Law’ (2004) 98(2) American Journal of International Law, pp. 276–301. See also J. Peel, ‘Foreword to the TEL Fifth Anniversary Issue: Re-evaluating the Principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities in Transnational Climate Change Law’ (2016) 5(2) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 245–54.

99 N. 71 above.

100 N. 13 above.

101 T. Honkonen, ‘CBDR and Climate Change’, in M. Faure (ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Edward Elgar, 2016), pp. 142–51, at 150.

102 C. Kolstad et al., ‘Social Economic, and Ethical Concepts and Methods’, in IPCC: 2014 (O. Edenhofer et al. (eds)), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 207–82, at 252–6, para. 3.10; and M. Fleurbaey et al., ‘Sustainable Development and Equity’, in IPCC: 2014, ibid., pp. 283–350, at 294–6, para. 4.2.2. and 317–21, para. 4.6.2.

103 Paris Agreement, Arts 2(2) and 4(3); L. Rajamani, ‘The Principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities in the International Climate Change Regime’, in R. Lyster & R. Verchick, Research Handbook on Climate Disaster Law (Edward Elgar, 2018), pp. 46–60.

104 Paris Agreement, Art. 2(1)(a).

105 Ibid., Art. 4(3).

106 Rajamani, n. 103 above, p. 54.

107 Paris Agreement, Art. 4(3); Voigt & Ferreira, n. 92 above, pp. 295–6.

108 Ibid., p. 296.

109 Ibid.

110 Decision 1/CP21, ‘Adoption of the Paris Agreement’, 13 Dec. 2015, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2015/10/Add.1 CP.21, para. 51.

111 Scholtz, n. 88 above.

112 Rajamani, n. 97 above, p. 509.

113 Ibid., p. 493.

114 Similar to the binary thinking in the Annex A–B division in the Kyoto Protocol on the basis of development status.

115 Maljean-Dubois, S., ‘The Paris Agreement: A New Step in the Gradual Evolution of Differential Treatment in the Climate Regime?’ (2016) 25(2) Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law, pp. 151–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 154.

116 Ibid., p. 156.

117 Ibid., p. 153.

118 P. Sands & J. Peel, Principles of International Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 235.

119 Honkonen, n. 101 above, p. 142.

120 Maljean-Dubois, n. 115 above.

121 Huggins, A., ‘The Evolution of Differential Treatment in International Climate Law: Innovation, Experimentation, and “Hot” Law’ (2018) 8(3–4) Climate Law, pp. 195206CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 198–9.

122 Voigt & Ferreira, n. 92 above, p. 294.

123 Cullet, n. 96 above, p. 319.

124 Planet Security Initiative, ‘The Hague Declaration, Action 2 on Climate Migration’, Dec. 2017, available at:

125 Scholtz, W., ‘Custodial Sovereignty: Reconciliation of Sovereignty and Global Environmental Challenges amongst the Vestiges of Colonialism’ (2008) 55(3) Netherlands International Law Review, pp. 323–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

126 Benvenisti, E., ‘Sovereigns as Trustees of Humanity: On the Accountability of States to Foreign Stakeholders’ (2013) 107(2) American Journal of International Law, pp. 295333CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

127 Scholtz, n. 88 above.

128 P. Dann, ‘Solidarity and the Law of Development’, in R. Wolfrum & C. Kojima (eds), Solidarity: A Structural Principle of International Law (Springer, 2010), pp. 55–91.

129 Salomon, n. 46 above.

130 It is too early to assess the success of the current attempt to draft a treaty on the right to development.

131 P. Cullet, ‘Principle 7: Common But Differentiated Responsibilities’, in J.E. Viñuales (ed.), The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development: A Commentary (Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 229–44.

132 S. Adelman, ‘Human Rights in the Paris Agreement: Too Little, Too Late?’ (2018) 7(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 17–36.

133 See M. Wewerinke-Singh, ‘State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations Associated with Climate Change’, in S. Duyck, S. Jodoin & A. Johl (eds), Routledge Handbook of Human Rights and Climate Governance (Routledge, 2018), pp. 75–89, at 83–4; cf., e.g., UNHRC, Portillo Cáceres v. Paraguay, n. 19 above (where environmental harm could be linked to a specific, localized activity).

134 The Nansen Initiative, n. 61 above, paras 116–22; see also a corresponding commitment to address cross-border displacement by reducing disaster risks in UN General Assembly, ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’, 19 Dec. 2018, UN Doc. A/RES/73/195, para. 18(b). However, for caveats on forms of assistance which may unduly open affected countries to the imposition of foreign political agendas, see Mayer, n. 60 above, pp. 127–8.

135 This statement is reminiscent of the Preamble to the UN Charter (n. 71 above), which declares the determination of the UN to save generations from the scourge of war.