Climate justice and corporate responsibility: Taking human rights seriously in climate actions and projects

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Despite growing evidence that projects undertaken to combat climate change currently produce human rights concerns, legal and institutional frameworks for addressing such impacts have not been exhaustively explored and communicated. A 2014 report of the International Bar Association (IBA), Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption, takes a commendable step in filling this gap. It puts forward a functional rights-based risk management approach, through which corporations can be mandated to protect, respect and fulfil human rights in the execution of climate actions and projects. This article evaluates the key contributions of the IBA report to debates on the legal obligations of private actors to integrate human rights principles into the design, financing and implementation of climate projects. The article also considers practical and logistical concerns that must be clarified and addressed to further enhance the utility and relevance of the IBA proposal on corporate risk management in climate actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Energy and Natural Resources Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016



  • CDM
  • Climate justice
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Human rights
  • REDD+

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Energy (miscellaneous)

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