The impact of climate change on a range of human rights is now well-documented, as are the disproportionate harms suffered by marginalized groups and vulnerable communities. In turn, it is increasingly well-understood that States’ fulfillment of their human rights obligations can lend vital support to their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This chapter examines the relationship between human rights and climate change using the framework of international human rights law. Part I provides an overview of the foundations, principles and mechanisms of human rights law. Part II looks at the impact of climate change on a range of human rights. Part III considers how human rights law has evolved to elaborate States’ obligations to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to address the needs of those most vulnerable to climate-related harms. Part IV then analyzes the opportunities and challenges of using international human rights law as a legal framework to address the climate crisis.
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