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Tesi etd-11302020-110007

Type of thesis
Dottorato
Author
LUPORINI, RICCARDO
E-mail address
riccardo.luporini@gmail.com
URN
etd-11302020-110007
Title
Adapting to climate change and reducing the risk of climate-related disasters: The role of international human rights law
Scientific disciplinary sector
IUS/13
Course
Istituto di Diritto, Politica e Sviluppo - PHD IN HUMAN RIGHTS AND GLOBAL POLITICS: LEGAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
Committee
Membro SOMMARIO, EMANUELE GIUSEPPE
Membro Prof. BARTOLINI, GIULIO
Membro Prof.ssa SAVARESI, Annalisa
Keywords
  • climate change
  • disasters
  • human rights
  • international climate change law
  • international disaster law
  • international human rights law
  • international law
Exam session start date
26/05/2021;
Availability
completa
Abstract
The risk of climate-related disasters is on the rise. Empirical evidence indicates a sharp increase in the frequency and socio-economic impact of extreme weather events such as storms, heavy rainfall episodes and ensuing floods over the latest decades. The best available climate science suggests that slow-onset hazards, such as thawing permafrost, sea level rise, droughts and desertification are very likely to continue and accelerate in the near future. This increasing risk carries serious implications for the enjoyment of a vast range of human rights. <br><br>Against this backdrop, the present work aims to shed light on the role that International Human Rights Law (IHRL) can serve in tackling climate-related disaster risk. The study investigates, in particular, how and to what extent IHRL can prompt States to enhance Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) action. <br>In addressing the interplay between IHRL and the international law on CCA and DRR, the study scrutinises, first, the main international instruments on CCA and DRR and how they deal with human rights and, second, how CCA and DRR are handled in IHRL. In this context, the work provides a timely illustration of the latest developments in human rights-based litigation on CCA and DRR before international as well as domestic judicial bodies.<br><br>It is submitted that IHRL can contribute to tackle climate-related disaster risk by fulfilling the three following major functions: (i) mainstreaming human rights standards and principles into CCA and DRR action; (ii) confirming and substantiating the emerging international obligations on CCA and DRR; and (iii) plugging the enforcement gap of CCA and DRR norms. At the same time, the study identifies the main structural limitations of IHRL in this domain. The individualistic conception of legal protection, reactive approach to harm, and ‘vertical’ application of IHRL impair its efficacy in addressing the challenge of climate-related disaster risk. Whether and to what extent a progressive development of IHRL can overcome these limitations in the future is also discussed. The overall findings of the study may have a broader significance for the debate on the role of IHRL in the face of the current global environmental threats.
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