Human Rights in the Face of Climate Change

The World’s Youth for Climate Justice Project

Jul 2021 — Global Environmental Law and Governance LL.M Students co-authored a report on Human Rights in the Face of the Climate Crisis with the global youth-led World’s Youth for Climate Justice (WY4CJ) campaign. 

Global Environmental Law and Governance students Robbie McAdam, Hannah Whitley, Olubusayo Adetona, Caitlin Macpherson, Manon Rouby, and Aditi Shetye (who also co-edited the report) collaborated with students from eight universities who are part of the WY4CJ campaign to co-author a legal report which highlighted the importance of Human Rights while combating the Climate Crisis. One of our students also had the opportunity to present this report at an official side event of the High-Level Political Forum held in July 2021 on behalf of the Belgian Government. 

The WY4CJ Report 

The WY4CJ report exhaustively demonstrates the urgent need to call for an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice in relation to the human rights implications of the climate crisis. Small Independent Island states such as Vanuatu have integrated human rights implications into climate change issues as forced migration due to climate change will violate human rights to land, culture, and self-determination. The WY4CJ report suggests that the question to be submitted to the ICJ for an Advisory Opinion is: 

“What are the obligations of States under international law to protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change?” 

The report itself is multifaceted as it analysed the human impacts of climate change and the process of States obtaining an Advisory Opinion from the ICJ under current international law concerning Climate Change and Human Rights. The report is also due to be published in a book series by the Normandy Chair for Peace. 

Contributing authors 


Robbie McAdam





Hannah Whitley





Olubusayo Adetona





Caitlin MacPherson





Manon Rouby





Aditi Shetye




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