To ensure the right to a clean and healthy environment, we need to ensure social justice; equality; protection, and local development among other things by the removal of insecurities like livelihood insecurity and ensuring security against economic and social oppression.
Abhinav Mehrotra, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Biswanath Gupta, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
On July 26, 2022, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution that everyone on earth has the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This resolution has been passed in the background of countering the alarming degradation of the natural environment and climate change. This degradation is a pressing threat to humanity in general. Though it is known that General Assembly Resolutions are not binding upon the state parties, it holds a lot of persuasive value. States are morally responsible to abide by the resolution.
While passing this resolution, General Assembly mentioned a few important declarations which are the cornerstone of international environmental law. These are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Stockholm Declaration, and Rio Declaration. This resolution is based on the similar text adopted by Human Rights Council where it urges states, international organizations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.
It is the expectation that this resolution may have some trickledown effect promoting countries to adopt changes in the constitutions and treaties to implement these laws. United Nations Environment Program Executive director while commenting on the resolution opined, “This resolution sends a message that nobody can take nature, clean air, and water or a stable climate away from us- at least not without a fight”.
It addresses the triple planetary crisis of climate change such as nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. It will help the states to accelerate the implementation of the Climate Change framework of the United Nations. This collective decision may work as a future legal norm for the universal recognition of a clean, sustainable, and pollution-free environment.
Published in: The Geopolitics
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