This article explores the contributions of human rights ideas and norms to the rise and content of the notion of inclusive development, with special emphasis on experiences with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and with human rights-based approaches (HRBAs) to development and to environmental issues. On the latter aspect in particular, it is striking that, even though human rights instruments still take up environmental issues only scarcely, human rights-based approaches to global challenges such as climate change have gained momentum.