Is climate change a human rights violation?

Catriona McKinnon, M. Petersmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


NO: Climate change needs a relational, embodied and unbounded perspective

In this essay I highlight the difficulties of applying the liberal individual human rights ethos to the global issue of climate change. Climate change is the quintessential transnational collective action problem that cannot be linked to one duty bearer (a state) and one victim (a right holder). I draw on theories from environmental humanities that attempt to bridge the ontological divide between natural and social sciences. I argue for a new way of thinking about co-responsible agents and beneficiaries of a stable climate. This is one that departs from the sovereignty, causality and ex post temporality intrinsic to human rights law. Instead it accounts for relational, embodied and unbounded duties and interests in combatting climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Climate Change Debates
Subtitle of host publicationA Student Primer
EditorsMike Hulme
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-44625-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-33299-7
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Is climate change a human rights violation?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this