Bid for environmental rights pact to kick off in Paris

June 23, 2017
"We already have two international (human rights) pacts... The idea is to create a third, for a third generation of rights—environmental rights," said French judicial expert Laurent Fabius, who will chair the climate meeting

Politicians, legal experts and activists will launch a campaign in Paris on Saturday for a global pact to protect the human right to a clean, healthy environment.

The end goal, organisers said this week, is a legal treaty under which states can be brought to justice for flouting the rights of a group or individual.

The initiative comes just weeks after President Donald Trump announced that he would pull the United States out of the 196-nation Paris Agreement on curbing dangerous global warming.

The new pact, being blueprinted by top legal minds from several countries, should eventually be put to the United Nations for adoption, and impose legally-binding obligations on signatory states, its drafters say.

"We already have two international (human rights) pacts... The idea is to create a third, for a third generation of rights—environmental rights," said French judicial expert Laurent Fabius, who will chair Saturday's meeting.

The earlier covenants—one for social, economic and cultural rights, the other for civil and political rights—were adopted by the UN in 1966.

Fabius, who chaired the 2015 UN conference that approved the hard-fought Paris Agreement, said the new text should outline rights and duties, provide for reparations to be made in case of a breach, and introduce the "polluter pays" principle.

It would mean that people can bring to court, "to have them held responsible or to compel them to adopt laws that are more protective of the environment," explained Yann Aguila of the French Club des Juristes, a think-tank involved in the project.

Participants in Saturday's meeting would include ex-California governor-turned climate campaigner Arnold Schwarzenegger, former UN chief Ban Ki-moon, as well as high court judges from several countries.

The meeting will be closed by President Emmanuel Macron of France, which after Trump's announcement pledged 30 million euros ($34 million) to fund the work of foreign climate researchers on French soil.

Explore further: EU 'deeply regrets' US Paris climate pact withdrawal

Related Stories

Who will suffer the most from US climate exit?

June 2, 2017

In withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate pact, President Donald Trump claimed that honouring its terms would cost the country billions of dollars for a miniscule change to the global warming trajectory.

US official backs clean energy cooperation with China

June 8, 2017

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry called for Sino-US cooperation on clean energy during a visit to Beijing Thursday, a week after President Donald Trump's much-criticised withdrawal from the Paris climate pact.

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jun 24, 2017
These sort of things can work, but the first priority is to look at them with a jaundiced eye.

these sort of things tend to only get universally agreed upon, if the given oligarchies in power get more power and more control over their respective populations.

think of them as opportunities for a psychopathic oligarchy to grant themselves more power to crush the common man into a red mush.

If one is not thinking of them being 'flower drenched' motions that cloak brutal Machiavellians that are butchers at best, then they have the wrong mindset.

It is not that the ideas and motions are inherently bad, but these asshats look for anyway to increase their power and control, so this has to be found out.. It will be buried in the complex text of the given agreements...IT ALWAYS IS.

Think about it. That is the history of over 10,000 years of human politics, and it did not just change when you where born into a world - that suffers from a more complex and complete propaganda.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.