Presidential Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights

Global climate change is a defining challenge of our time. It poses an effective obstacle to the continued progress of human rights, which translates directly into a worsening of the existing inequities that afflict a world already riven with vast inequality, poverty and conflict. Dramatic alterations to the planet’s climate system are already impacting on the world’s inhabitants and its natural environment, disproportionately affecting those who have contributed least to it and who are also, for a variety of reasons, least well placed to respond.

Yet the main contributors to climate change – those with the largest carbon footprints, living and working in the world’s wealthier regions – are, by virtue of their wealth and/or access to resources, most insulated from it. In addition to which, climate change will strain the ability of many states, especially the poorest among them, to uphold their human rights obligations.

In November 2012, an IBA Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights was established to address this fundamental justice concern and support the IBA in assessing the challenges to the current national and international legal regimes on climate change.

This high-level Task Force, chaired by David Estrin and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, and with invaluable contribution from Academic Advisor Stephen Humphreys, PhD, sets forth its analysis and recommendations through the Report, Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Change Disruption.

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