Human Rights and Climate Change

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    Introduction

    Over the last two decades, a global consensus has emerged that climate change impacts human rights, leading many to assert that climate change is itself a human rights issue. Impacts of climate change, and in some cases efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, already have caused people to be killed due to extreme weather events, or suffer higher rates of respiratory disease from poor air quality. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), these impacts are felt disproportionately by communities of color, low-income communities, and indigenous communities.[1] Such groups face heightened exposure to climate-related risks, such as changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, and increased temperatures.[2]

    Key cases
    Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v. Minister of Environmental Affairs

    Future Generations v. Ministry of Environment, Colombia

    Urgenda Foundation v. Netherlands

    Penn. Envtl. Def. Found. v. Commonwealth

    Matter of Hawai’i Electric Light Co. Juliana v. United States

    How climate change intersects with human rights

    Climate change has—and will continue to have—a vast range of severe impacts on the human rights of people around the world. It causes depletion of natural resources, which intensifies competition for remaining resources and threatens rights to water, health, life, and food.[3] Disrupted ocean systems and coastal erosion, both caused by climate change, result in displacement of populations and impact marine productivity, implicating several human rights, including rights to food, life, health, and housing.[4] Heat waves, extreme weather events, and increased fires impact food supply and water security, thereby endangering rights to life, health, food, and water, among others.[5]

    Even some attempted solutions to the climate change crisis—such as hydroelectric and biofuels projects—can potentially infringe on human rights. Hydroelectric projects, for example, can displace local people and harm ecosystems, particularly those located downstream from such a project.[6] Biofuels projects also may threaten human rights. For example, in 2006, a largescale ethanol project in Peru took over large swaths of the land in Chira Valley, including towns, settlements, and common areas managed by local populations.[7] The communities living in this or nearby these areas consequently lost access to their local resources, and in some cases were even evicted from their homes.[8] Practitioners should be aware of the potential risks that even certain efforts to mitigate climate change pose to human rights, and support mitigation options that have a limited ability to impact human rights.

    Human Rights Instruments and Climate Change

    The Legal Framework of International Human Rights as Applicable to the U.S.

    The United States (U.S.) has ratified very few of the major, legally binding international human rights treaties that, together, form the foundation of the international human rights legal regime.[9] Of these major treaties, perhaps the two treaties most relevant in the climate change context are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)—which the U.S. has signed in 1977 and ratified in 1992—and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)—which the U.S. signed in 1977 but never ratified.[10] The U.S. is also a signatory to the non-binding Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); in fact, then-former First Lady of the U.S. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the committee that drafted the UDHR.[11] More recently, the U.S. joined the Paris Agreement, described in more detail below, in 2016 (and rejoined in 2021 after briefly withdrawing in 2020).[12]

    Binding International Tools for a Rights-Based Approach to Climate Change

    Articles 19 and 25 of the ICCPR—which are also enshrined in the UDHR as Articles 19 and 21, respectively[14]—are key to states’ procedural obligations to mitigate climate change and its impacts. Article 19 of the ICCPR grants the right “to seek, receive and impart information,”[15] a procedural right that the International Court of Justice has held imposes obligations on states to conduct environmental assessments if a proposed activity could adversely impact shared resources.[16] This established procedural right, as well as other similar rights such as the right to participate in public affairs and government (guaranteed by both ICCPR Article 25 and UDHR Article 21),[17] may be useful for future rights-based climate litigation. Along similar lines, Article 4(1)(h) of the UNFCCC requires parties to “[p]romote and cooperate in the full, open and prompt exchange” of information about climate change and climate science,[18] bolstering potential claims related to information access.

    Practitioners should note that the ICCPR, the ICESCR, and the UNDR provide avenues for addressing the human rights impacts of climate change—even if these treaties do not explicitly reference climate change. Note that, while the UDHR is not in and of itself legally binding, it outlines principles enshrined in other legally binding international instruments.[13] Similarly, as discussed, the ICESCR does not create legally binding obligations for the U.S.

    These international instruments also impose substantive obligations on states. In the ICCPR alone, Article 6 protects the right to life.[19] Further, Articles 11 and 12 of the ICESCR protect the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to health, respectively.[20] Scholars have often identified the rights to life and health as rights threatened by climate change impacts, and growing evidence linking climate change to health complications sets the foundation for these rights to be vindicated through climate litigation.[21]

    Using the Paris Agreement in a Rights-Based Approach to Climate Change

    The treaties and declarations discussed above can each be used in a rights-based approach to addressing climate change; treaties that are legally binding on relevant states are particularly effective tools. The Paris Agreement, which entered into force in November 2016,[22] is the first international environmental treaty to explicitly link climate change and human rights.[23] The Paris Agreement’s preamble states that parties “should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity.”[24]

    While this recognition of the impact of climate change on human rights was an important step forward, many activists argue the Paris Agreement needed to go much further.[25] Practitioners should be particularly mindful of concerns about the extent to which the Paris Agreement actually imposes obligations on state parties to protect human rights.[26] The language in the Preamble, for example, uses “should” rather than “shall,” and instructs states to “respect, promote and consider” rather than “protect and fulfill.”[27] More importantly, the language is only in the preamble, raising doubts that human rights obligations do not pertain to the operative provisions of the agreement.[28]

    However, there is an argument to be made that the Paris Agreement imposes legitimate obligations on state parties regarding human rights. An integrated interpretation of international law allows for the interpretation of treaties and international instruments to be done in concert with one another. For example, the operative provisions of the Paris Agreement discuss the Sustainable Development Goals, a collection of seventeen goals for sustainability set out by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2015,[29] which themselves integrate human rights; therefore, a holistic understanding of the instruments concludes that the Paris Agreement indirectly incorporates human rights obligations.[30] A similar theory reads human rights obligations into the Paris Agreement by tracing the source of such obligations back to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the non-binding parent treaty to several binding climate change agreements, including the Paris Agreement. This theory proposed that, because all parties to the UNFCCC have ratified at least one international human rights instrument, “[r]eferences to Parties’ ‘existing obligations’ in the Paris Agreement should therefore be interpreted to refer to obligations in human rights treaties each Party has already ratified.[31]

    Non-Binding International Tools for a Rights-Based Approach to Climate Change

    Though not binding, international legal tools such as UN resolutions, reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—and its parent body, the UN Environment Programme—and materials produced by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) all strengthen the legitimacy of a human rights-based approach to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts.

    The IPCC, which is responsible for scientifically assessing climate change impacts and options for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, exists to provide governments with information needed to develop effective climate policies.[32] The IPCC’s parent body, the UN Environment Programme, released an extensive report in 2015 detailing the impacts of climate change on human rights as well as the obligations of governments and private actors in responding to those human rights issues.[33] Additionally, the OHCHR explicitly advocates for a human rights-based approach to climate change,[34] and its materials detail ways to integrate human rights into climate change instruments.[35] While the reports of the IPCC and OHCHR do not themselves impose legal obligations on states, the writings and duties of these organizations represent a global endorsement of a rights-based approach to climate change.

    There have also been several notable UN resolutions that connect climate change with human rights. For example, UN Resolution 10/4, which passed in 2009, discusses the human rights implications of climate change, specifically highlighting as areas particularly impacted the rights to life, adequate food, the highest attainable standard of health, adequate housing, and self-determination, as well as rights “related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation.”[36] The Resolution further acknowledges that the burden of human rights infringements disproportionately falls on communities “already in vulnerable situations,” and discusses the necessity of international cooperation to implement the UNFCCC.[37] Later UN resolutions passed in 2011 and then each year from 2014 to 2022 recommend using the framework of human rights to inform climate-related policymaking and otherwise address the adverse consequences of climate change on human rights.[38] The UN General Assembly’s continued commitment to a human rights-based approach to climate change indicates the potential for success in utilizing this strategy.

    Finally, UN Human Rights Council has taken even stronger steps towards recognizing a standalone right to a healthy environment, including passing a resolution establishing such a right and appointing a special rapporteur to focus specifically on the human rights impacts of climate change.[39]

    International Rights-Based Litigation

    There has been a recent uptick in rights-based climate litigation around the globe. One common approach to such litigation that practitioners should note is the utilization of a combination of hard and soft law[40] to impose duties on states.[41] The incorporation of soft law instruments—such as the UNFCCC or the IPCC’s reports—allows litigators to establish and invoke a baseline of norms to apply in their climate-related cases, which is the first step in most human rights litigation.[42] Several landmark cases illustrate this strategy.

    In 2017, a High Court of South Africa considered Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v. Minister of Environmental Affairs, a case brought by the organization Earthlife against the South African government.[43] In deciding the case, the High Court used the UNFCCC to interpret South Africa’s Constitution, reading in an obligation on the government to protect the right to environment.[44] This holding thereby required South Africa to consider “climate change-related impacts” in developing a coal-fired power plant.[45]

    In 2018, a group of young plaintiffs in Colombia successfully vindicated their human rights through climate litigation before the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia in the case Future Generations v. Ministry of Environment, Colombia,[46] which declared that the Colombian Amazon was entitled to protection and restoration by the Colombian government, based in part on Colombia’s obligations as a party to the Paris Agreement.[47] The court ordered the Colombian government to create action plans, with the involvement of affected communities and the plaintiffs, to tackle deforestation and climate impacts in the Amazon.[48] Notably, the plaintiffs based their claims on alleged violations of their rights to a healthy environment, life, health, food, and water.[49]

    Just a year later, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands decided the landmark Urgenda Foundation v. Netherlands,[50] case, becoming the first ever court to hold that a government’s inaction in response to climate change resulted in violations of “internationally recognized human rights,” and to impose a legal duty on that government to meet its national targets and international commitments to reduce emissions.[51] This burst of litigation is likely to continue as global precedent strengthens links between climate change impacts and human rights violations.

    State Constitutions and Domestic Rights-Based Litigation

    The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly recognize the right to a healthy environment, but six states in the U.S. have each enshrined such a right in their state constitutions: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Montana, Massachusetts, Hawaii, [52] and, as of November 2021, New York.[53]

     Article 11 of the Illinois Constitution establishes a duty on the state to provide a “healthful environment,” and provides for an individual right of enforcement of that duty.[54] Illinois courts have interpreted these rights narrowly; in 1984, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected an argument that the state constitution provides a “fundamental” right to a healthy environment.[55] Subsequently, the same court denied other causes of action based on Article 11 in 1995 and 1999.[56]

    Other states, however, have interpreted these so-called “green amendment” rights more broadly. The green amendment in Pennsylvania’s constitution not only recognizes the “right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of . . . the environment,” but also states that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a trustee of public natural resources, which are considered common property owned by “all the people.”[57] Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court used the Commonwealth’s green amendment rights to strike down legislation allowing oil and gas operations in Penn. Envtl. Def. Found. v. Commonwealth, 161 A.3d 911, 939 (Pa. 2017).[58] The Montana Constitution contains a provision substantially similar to that in the Illinois Constitution; however, unlike in Illinois, the Montana Supreme Court has found that the provision guarantees a “fundamental right,” thereby subjecting future state statutes and regulations to “strict scrutiny” for the potential to violate this right.[59] In 2010, the Hawaii Supreme Court similarly held that the state’s environmental laws contain a private right of enforcement, based on an amendment to the state constitution in 1978 calling for the preservation of the environment.[60] More recently, just last year in Matter of Hawai’i Electric Light Co., the Hawaii Supreme Court found the state government has an affirmative constitutional duty to protect the right to a “clean and healthful environment,” noting the Hawaii government’s recent declaration of a “climate emergency” and describing the right as “constantly evolving.”[61]

    Of course, rights-based climate litigation has also experienced setbacks. In 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard a claim appealed from the District Court of Oregon in Juliana v. United States.[62] Juliana was brought by the environmental group Our Children’s Trust on a rights-based legal theory, which argued that the U.S. Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property effectively guarantee the right to a stable climate, insofar as permits for fossil fuel extraction would infringe on the rights to life, liberty, and property of the affected population.[63] The Ninth Circuit, however, dismissed the case for lack of standing, finding in particular that the Court lacked the authority to provide the type of remedy sought: requiring government action.[64]

    Despite such obstacles, the recent addition of the New York green amendment—which guarantees “[e]ach person” in the state “a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment,” and was approved “overwhelmingly” by voters[65]—represents a broader trend. Movements in several other states—including New Jersey, New Mexico, Maryland, Oregon, and Vermont—are similarly working to develop and ratify constitutional amendments recognizing the right to a clean and healthful environment.[66] The litigation of these green amendments to state constitutions is likely to increase, particularly where the amendments contain a private right of action, as litigation of similar amendments around the country strengthen the foundation for these cases. As such, green amendments and local or state action may become a popular platform to push states towards net zero targets.

    Benefits and Challenges of Rights-Based Climate Litigation

    One significant benefit of using human rights to address climate change is the universality of human rights. The UDHR has 194 signatories,[67] providing a baseline understanding for rights discussed in other treaties. Further, as discussed earlier in this section, all parties to the UNFCCC have also ratified at least one international human rights treaty, leading experts to suggest that the Paris Agreement, which explicitly holds state parties to their “existing obligations,” thereby incorporates human rights guarantees from the treaties state parties have signed.[68]

    Further, environmental law regimes often restrict causes of action to those based on environmental damage rather than harm to individuals. Human rights law can fill this gap by providing an approach for individuals harmed by the impacts of climate change to seek redress through the state—either based on state harms or, in some cases, state inaction in response to harms perpetrated by non-state actors.[69]

    Despite these benefits, there are significant barriers to successful rights-based climate litigation. Establishing causation—which in the United States is required for a plaintiff to have standing to bring a lawsuit—is extremely difficult in climate litigation in particular, largely because there are often multiple interrelated causes of the specific consequences of climate change. Event attribution, the process by which climate scientists attempt to attribute specific impacts such as extreme weather events to climate change, is a growing field, and can help litigants in climate change cases show causation.[70] Even so, climate models remain uncertain indicators of such attribution, and so there is still progress to be made.[71]

    Furthermore, individual plaintiffs often lack a private right of action under applicable statutes, and so are often unable to bring claims of climate harms alone.[72] Claims on behalf of future generations may also not be brought either due to lack of a private right of action or due to lack of standing.[73] A court also may lack authority to require the government to take climate action. Most notably in the U.S., in Juliana v. United States—a recent case arising from a rights-based challenge to alleged government inaction that sought a remedy in the form of government action—the Ninth Circuit found that mandating such government action as requested by the plaintiff would exceed the court’s authority.[74]

    While there are likely to remain impediments to legal action that successfully requires the U.S. to protect citizens’ right to a healthy environment and other human rights threatened by climate change, the surge in litigation addressing these questions illustrates the broad potential of these claims. As rights to a healthy environment are codified across states, practitioners will likely participate in more and more rights-based climate litigation. Importantly, pursuing such litigation aligns with net zero goals, as enshrining enforceable rights to protect the environment can prevent the growth of industries that would otherwise slow the transition to net zero.


    [1]EPA Report Shows Disproportionate Impacts of Climate Change on Socially Vulnerable Populations in the United States‘ (EPA Press Office, 02 September 2021) <https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-report-shows-disproportionate-impacts-climate-change-socially-vulnerable> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [2] United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), ‘The impacts of climate change on the human rights of people in vulnerable situations‘ (OHCHR, A/HRC/50/57, 06 May 2022).

    [3] Michael Burger et al, ‘Climate Change and Human Rights‘ (United Nations Environment Programme, 11 December 2015), pp. 3-4.

    [4] Ibid, pp. 4-5.

    [5] Ibid, pp. 7-8.

    [6] Ibid, p. 8.

    [7] Oxfam België/Belgique, ‘Europe’s biofuels addiction is threatening human rights in Peru‘ (Food, climate and natural resources, Oxfam Blogs, 03 August 2021) <https://www.oxfam.org/en/blogs/europes-biofuels-addiction-threatening-human-rights-peru> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [8] Ibid.

    [9] Marie Wilken, ‘U.S. Aversion to International Human Rights Treaties‘ (Global Justice Center, 22 June 2017) <https://www.globaljusticecenter.net/blog/773-u-s-aversion-to-international-human-rights-treaties> accessed 23 April 2024

    [10] The Leadership Conference Education Fund, ‘Where the United States Stands on 10 International Human Rights Treaties‘ (Civil and Human Rights News, 10 December 2013) <https://civilrights.org/edfund/resource/where-the-united-states-stands-on-10-international-human-rights-treaties/ > accessed 23 April 2024.

    [11] Wilken (2017).

    [12] H.J. Mai, ‘U.S. Officially Rejoins Paris Agreement On Climate Change‘ (Environment, NPR, 19 February 2021) <https://www.npr.org/2021/02/19/969387323/u-s-officially-rejoins-paris-agreement-on-climate-change> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [13]Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders‘ (OHCHR Special Procedures) <https://www.ohchr.org/en/special-procedures/sr-human-rights-defenders/declaration-human-rights-defenders> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [14] Compare Articles 19 and 25 of the ICCPR with Articles 19 and 21 of the UDHR.

    [15] United Nations (General Assembly), ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights‘ (ICCPR) (Treaty Series, vol. 999, December 1966), art. 19.

    [16] Burger et al (2015), p. 16.

    [17] See Article 25 of the ICCPR and Article 21 of the UDHR; see also ibid, p. 16.

    [18] United Nations (General Assembly), ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change‘ (UNFCCC) (Treaty Doc No. 102-38, 1771 U.N.T.S. 107., 09 May 1992) <https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [19] See Article 19 of the ICCPR.

    [20] United Nations, ‘International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights‘ (ICESCR) (Treaty Series, vol. 999, December 1966), art. 11-12.

    [21] Chuan-Feng Wu, ‘Challenges to Protecting the Right to Health under the Climate Change Regime‘ (Health and Human Rights Journal, vol. 23(2), December 2021).

    [22] United Nations, ‘The Paris Agreement‘ <https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/paris-agreement> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [23] Sébastien Duyck et al, ‘Human Rights and the Paris Agreement’s Implementation Guidelines: Opportunities to Develop a Rights-based Approach‘ (Forthcoming in Carbon and Climate Law Review, 29 August 2018), p. 1.

    [24]Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change‘ (Paris Agreement) (T.I.A.S. No. 16-1104, 12 December 2015); see also Duyck et al (2018), p. 1.

    [25] See, e.g., Sam Adelman, ‘Human Rights in the Paris Agreement: Too Little, Too Late?‘ (Cambridge University Press, 27 December 2017).

    [26] Patrícia Galvão Ferreira, ‘Did the Paris Agreement Fail to Incorporate Human Rights in Operative Provisions?‘ (Centre for International Governance Innovation, Paper No. 113, 31 October 2016), p. 4.

    [27] Compare Paris Agreement (2015), supra note 15, with UNFCCC (1992); see also Ferreira (2016), p. 4.

    [28] Ferreira (2016), p. 4.

    [29] Ibid, pp. 7, 9.

    [30] Ibid, pp. 10-11.

    [31] Duyck et al (2018), p. 3.

    [32] IPCC, ‘About the IPCC‘ <https://www.ipcc.ch/about/> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [33] See generally Burger et al (2015).

    [34]The impacts of climate change on the effective enjoyment of human rights‘ (OCHCR and climate change) <https://www.ohchr.org/en/climate-change/impacts-climate-change-effective-enjoyment-human-rights> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [35]Integrating human rights at the UNFCCC‘ (OCHCR and climate change) <https://www.ohchr.org/en/climate-change/integrating-human-rights-unfccc> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [36] United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR), ‘Human rights and climate change‘ (A/HRC/RES/10/4, 25 March 2009).

    [37] Ibid.

    [38]Human Rights Council resolutions on human rights and climate change‘ (OCHCR and climate change) <https://www.ohchr.org/en/climate-change/human-rights-council-resolutions-human-rights-and-climate-change> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [39] Wu (2021).

    [40] “Soft Law” denotes instruments that are not legally binding, such as UN General Assembly resolutions; “Hard Law” refers to binding legal obligations enforceable in a court of law. See a definition from the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, accessed 23 April 2024.

    [41] See, e.g., Kumaravadivel Guruparan & Harriet Moynihan, ‘Climate change and human rights-based strategic litigation‘ (Chatham House Briefing, ISBN: 978 1 78413 504 1, 11 November 2021)

    [42] César Rodríguez-Garavito, ‘Litigating the Climate Emergency: The Global Rise of Human Rights-Based Litigation for Climate Action‘ (Forthcoming in Cambridge University Press, 15 March 2022), p. 14).

    [43] (2017 (2) All SA 519 (GP) (S. Afr.)).

    [44] Guruparan & Moynihan (2021).

    [45] Rodríguez-Garavito (2022), p. 31.

    [46] Corte Suprema de Justicia [C.S.J.] [Supreme Court], Sala de Casación Civil, abril 5, 2018, M.P.: L.A. Tolosa Villabona, Expediente 11001-22-03-000-2018-00319-01 (Colom.)

    [47] Guruparan & Moynihan (2021).

    [48] Ibid.

    [49] Ibid.

    [50] HR 20 December 2019, 41 NJ 2020, m.nt. J.S. (Urgenda/Netherlands) (Neth.)

    [51] Rodríguez-Garavito (2022), p. 1.

    [52] Samuel L. Brown, ‘Green Amendments: A Fundamental Right to a Healthy Environment?‘(The National Law Review, 30 March 2021) <https://www.natlawreview.com/article/green-amendments-fundamental-right-to-healthy-environment> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [53] Nydia Gutiérrez & Brian Keegan, ‘Environmental Rights Amendment Passes in New York‘ (Earthjustice, 03 November 2021) <https://earthjustice.org/press/2021/environmental-rights-amendment-passes-in-new-york> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [54] Illinois, ‘Constitution of the State of Illinois‘([Springfield, Ill.] :Secretary of State, 1914), p.149.

    [55] Illinois Pure Water Committee, Inc. v. Director of Public Health, 104 Ill. 2d 243, 470 N.E.2d 988 (1984).

    [56] See City of Elgin v. County of Cook, 169 Ill. 2d 53, 660 N.E.2d 875 (1995); Glisson v. City of Marion, 188 Ill. 2d 211, 720 N.E.2d 1034 (1999); and’Constitution of the State of Illinois‘, pp. 149-150.

    [57] Pennsylvania,’Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—1790‘(Harrisburg :Busch, state printer, 1896)art. 1, s.27.

    [58] SeeBrown (2021); see also Franklin L. Kury, ‘Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment‘ (Conservation Advocate, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association) <https://conservationadvocate.org/pennsylvanias-environmental-rights-amendment/> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [59] See Mont. Envtl. Info. Ctr. v. Dep’t of Envtl. Quality, 988 P.2d 1236, 1246 (Mont. 1999); see alsoBrown (2021).

    [60] See County of Hawaii v. Ala Loop Homeowners, 235 P.3d 1103, 1120-34 (Haw. 2010), abrogated on other grounds by Tax Found. of Hawai’i v. State, 439 P.3d 127, 141 (Haw. 2019); see also Brown (2021); see also Hawaii, Hawaii State Constitution (1959), art. 9.

    [61] Matter of Hawai’i Electric Light Co., 526 P.3d 329, 336 (Haw. 2023).

    [62] 947 F.3d 1159 (9th Cir. 2020).

    [63]Juliana v. United States‘ (Harvard Law Review, vol. 134(5), 05 March 2021) <https://harvardlawreview.org/print/vol-134/juliana-v-united-states/> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [64] Ibid.

    [65] Gutiérrez & Keegan (2021).

    [66] Brown (2021).

    [67]Signatories for Universal Declaration of Human Rights‘ (The Danish Institute for Human Rights) <https://sdg.humanrights.dk/en/instrument/signees/24> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [68] Duyck et al (2018), p. 3.

    [69] See generally Dinah Shelton, ‘Human Rights And The Environment: What Specific Environmental Rights Have Been Recognized?‘ (Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, vol. 35:1, January 2006), p. 130.

    [70] SeeGuruparan & Moynihan (2021); see also Rebecca Lindsey, ‘Extreme event attribution: the climate versus weather blame game‘ (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 15 December 2016) <https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/extreme-event-attribution-climate-versus-weather-blame-game> accessed 23 April 2024.

    [71] Lindsey (2016).

    [72] Guruparan & Moynihan (2021).

    [73] Ibid.

    [74]Juliana v. United States‘ (Harvard Law Review, 2021).