Report by the European Parliament on Human Rights and Climate Change: EU policy Options

Abstract:

The study provides a survey of the state of the relationships currently established between human rights and climate change. It examines the external diplomacy of the European Union in the fields of human rights and climate change. The relationship between these two fields is addressed from two different perspectives: the integration of the climate change topic within EU human rights diplomacy; and the inclusion of human rights concerns within EU climate change diplomacy. We analyse its effectiveness, efficiency and the interrelationships with the EU’s external development policy by showing, where appropriate, their coordination, coherence and mutual support. In this respect, special emphasis is put on migration issues. Our study then turns the analysis towards internal EU climate change policies, which are explored from the perspective of human rights. We assess the compatibility of European Union mitigation policies with human rights and the gradual integration of the EU adaptation framework within other key European Union policies. Finally, this work concludes with a clarification of how the environmental human right to public information and participation in decision-making, which is transversal by nature, appears and may evolve in both EU internal and external climate policy.

Policy recommendations:

  • Impact assessments of climate change mitigation policies should include indicators linking social justice, poverty and environmental justice.
  • Auctioning revenue from the EU ETS should be used to prevent or redress human rights impacts from climate change.
  • The issue of windfall profits for sectors covered by the EU ETS should be addressed by taking into account the price of first necessity goods and services.
  • The auctioning process within the EU ETS should be designed in a way that does not contravene  the property rights of producers, in order to prevent them from challenging this new allocation system and/or a notable rise in energy prices.
  • The EU should be clear on the fact that JI/CDM credits from projects that violate or risk violating human rights may not be used within the EU ETS. Relevant criteria should be set up and imposed on investors located in MS territories. Bilateral agreement with host countries may be appropriate in this respect.
  • climate change policy should be formulated in  a way that ensures a direct effect in favour of effective access to justice for individuals. For example: “Mitigation policies should respect the right to access energy, the right to mobility…”
  • The EU and MS should take due account of the  necessity for legal certainty and the right to property when modifying EU climate change mitigation policies.

To download the study click on the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/fr/studiesdownload.html?languageDocument=EN&file=76255