Bid for environmental rights pact to kick off in Paris

2017-06-23 22:30
The Climate Generations Areas at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Paris. (Francois Mori, AP)

The Climate Generations Areas at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Paris. (Francois Mori, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - 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 states 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 $34m to fund the work of foreign climate researchers on French soil.

Read more on:    cape town  |  environment  |  cop21

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.