Expert: Dutch high court decision - reduced carbon emissions a human right

Published: 20 December 2019

The Dutch high court has just upheld a decision that obliges the Dutch government to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 25% by 2020 to protect the human rights of its citizens. (New York Times)

This McGill University  expert can provide comment on this issue:

Prof. Sébastien Jodoin is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at McGill University. His main area of expertise is the relationship between human rights and climate change.

“Today’s decision by the Dutch high court is the most important climate judgment in the world. It establishes that governments are obliged to reduce their carbon emissions to protect the human rights of their citizens from the adverse effects of climate change. In addition to serving as a precedent in the application of the European Convention of Human Rights, this decision is a persuasive source that is relevant to the interpretation of the obligations of governments to combat climate change under the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms. It puts the federal and provincial governments on notice that a failure to adopt measures to limit increases in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees, in accordance with scientific consensus and the objectives enshrined in the Paris Agreement, constitutes an infringement of the human rights of Canadians.”

Sébastien Jodoin is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law of McGill University, where he directs the Law, Governance & Society Lab. He is also a member of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, an Associate Member of the McGill School of Environment, and a Faculty Associate of the Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative at Yale University.

sebastien.jodoin-pilon [at] (English & French)

Back to top