Achieving the 1.5 °C objective of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in a just manner requires equitably sharing the responsibilities and rights that relate to this objective. This paper examines how international law concerning the Right to Promote (Sustainable) Development can contribute to determining what would be a “just” approach to achieving the 1.5 °C objective. This entails building on both the Right to Development (RtD) and the Right to Promote Sustainable Development (RtPSD). The RtD is a central notion within international human rights law and the RtPSD has been adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Based on a literature review and legal analysis, we argue that, although the two Rights are prima facie different, in the context of the unanimously adopted Agenda 2030, including the SDGs, they partly complement and partly merge with each other. Together they provide a framework for assessing how a just transition towards a low greenhouse gas development process could be achieved and what this means for phasing out fossil fuels especially in the context of prospective oil producing countries.

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International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Gupta, J., & Arts, K. (2017). Achieving the 1.5 °C Objective: Just Implementation Through a Right to (Sustainable) Development Approach. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. doi:10.1007/s10784-017-9376-7