Climate Change and Future Generations
By Carolyn Raffensperger Climate change is driving remarkable innovation and imagination. Every day brings new information about visionary technologies and science that can slow the increase in atmospheric carbon thereby givng the Earth and future generations a sporting chance. There are some corresponding innovations in the law that will enable us to carry out our ethical obligations to those most likely to be harmed by deterioration of the atmosphere. Many of these innovations are taking place outside of traditional environmental law and within the domain of human rights law.
Along with some wonderful human rights lawyers at Harvard and a couple of other law schools, I have been working on creating a legal framework to establish the rights of future generations to a clean and habitable planet. You can see a talk I gave on future generations at a recent conference on human rights and climate change (at about 27 minutes):
I will post some additional written materials that flesh out the future generations framework in days to come.