Flashcards in 1.1 f) Developing recognition of environmental rights Deck (33):
Define environmental rights
Yet to be fully developed in international law, but relates to the right of all people to live in a healthy, safe, adequate environment without fear of suffering life threatening diseases or its future existence. It also involves protecting and preserving the environment for future generations.
What agreed to in 1972 that was very significant for recognising a responsibility to protect the environment?
The Stockholm Declaration 1972. It was the beginning of international law establishing intergenerational equity.
Why are environmental rights still being developed?
Its a relatively new right.
What did the UN's first international environmental conference lead to in 1972?
The Stockholm Declaration 1972.
Following the Stockholm Declaration 1972 as international meetings became more frequent, what were some of the outcomes of these meetings?
Rio Declaration 1992
Johannesburg Declaration 2002
What did the Rio Declaration 1992 do?
upheld precautionary principle in preventing irreversible damage to the environment
What do the Rio Declaration 1992 and the
Johannesburg Declaration 2002
Focused on sustainable development
What happened in 1988
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- has 195 member states
-reviews scientific research, reports to UN
-In 2007 it reported that 90% likely human activity caused climate change
What is the principle organisation that helps to protect the environment and thus environmental rights?
The UN environment program
What was held on 2012?
Rio + 20 Summit.
What domestic legislation protects environmental rights in Australia?
Environment Protections Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
What government body helps to protects environmental rights in Australia?
Department of the Environment and Energy
Whilst showing that countries are more committed to the environment than ever, how was the 'Outcome Document' from the 2012 Rio + 20 Summit impacted?
Amnesty Int and Human Rights Watch reported that some nations (US) attempted to remove many phrases, which meant that whilst the document was good, it could have better protected environmental human rights.
What do most states have that monitors air and water quality?
Environmental Protection Agencies
What are the major threats to the environment?
Spread of new diseases
Loss of biodiversity
What attempts have been made by the Australian Government to protect the environment
Introducing a Carbon Tax by Rudd Government (now repealed)
Climate Commission - defunded by current Gov, now an independent body
Renewable energy target of 20% renewable energy by 2020.
What was considered by UNESCO in 2015?
Whether to list the Great Barrier Reef as endangered, whilst not currently listed as endangered, The Climate Council said it was still greatly threatened. (ABC Great Barrier Reef avoids 'in danger' status after UNESCO decision 2017)
What does not exist under international law?
No individual or collective rights as to environmental conditions, nation states may have them though.
How has common law protected environmental rights?
The law of nuisance. Eg. a person could sue for private nuisance for noxious fumes from a company
What is a major rights issue in recognising the right of intergenerational equity?
the right that future generations should have access to a reasonable levels of environmental wellbeing
What is a problem that has prevented the better management and solving of global environmental issues?
Countries have controversial perspectives on issue and many too focused on the immediate cost, rather than the long term benefit/impact of inaction.
What meeting on climate change issues happens yearly
UN Climate Change Conference, held in Paris in 2015.
What happened when the UN Climate Change Conference, held in Paris in 2015?
Paris Agreement adopted, to hold world temperature increase below 2 degrees. Was opened to signing in 2016, so success isn't evident yet
How many countries have ratified the Paris Agreement ?
159 of 197 parties to the convention.
what did Donald Trump do in 2017
He formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement
What would be climate change impact?
Poor countries affected more, climate refugees
TEmp rise would affect food production
Heavier floods and droughts
How would a tax imposed to reduce climate change work?
Tax on greenhouse gases would redirect resources into more energy efficient, renewable energy
Is it possible to establish a right to a 'sustainable climate'? How could it be established?
Through legislation such as the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, Court/tribunal action through cases in the EPA and civil litigation by affected parties
Evaluate effectiveness of international legal measures in advancing enviro rights of humans
LEGAL: Treaties btw parties not always binding + can take time to be incorporated into domestic law. Eg.2010 Climate Change Cooperation won't commence until 2020.
Evaluate effectiveness of international NON legal measures in advancing enviro rights of humans
Non-legal agreements are good to create interest but are relatively ineffective in terms of legal change
What legal rights could be adversely affected by some of the threats to the enviro?
Civil right- live in healthy enviro
Economic- work in safe enviro and participate in a world that doesn't have major medical implications
What is name of the constitutional climate lawsuit that involves US kids suing US gov for abusing their right to intergenerational equity through what action?
JULIANA v. U.S. CLIMATE LAWSUIT
through US gov's affirmative actions that cause climate change, it's violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.