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Possibilities of Climate Litigation Against Carbon Majors with Regard to Human Rights Concerns

Enikő Krajnyák


Climate litigation has been on the rise in the past few decades and has principally been boosted by the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The use of human rights arguments in climate litigation has contributed to ground-breaking results, given that human rights law offers sophisticated mechanisms that could be applied to environmental issues. While the majority of climate cases are brought against States, aiming to hold them accountable for their share in the adverse effects of climate change, there is an emerging tendency of claims addressing the responsibility of corporations as well. This paper identifies the challenges corporate climate litigation poses to human rights law through key cases and delineates its potential development directions in light of the developing interpretation of States’ human rights obligations in respect of climate change pending before various regional and universal judicial bodies, which may shape legal thinking in climate cases against corporations as well.

Enikő Krajnyák, Ph.D. Candidate and Assistant Lecturer, University of Miskolc; Scientific Researcher, Central European Academy. Correspondence: <>.


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