Tag Archives: Peter Lawrence

Beyond Paris: Future Generations and Climate Justice – by Peter Lawrence

September 22, 2015

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What legal obligations do we owe to future generations?  Peter Lawrence argues that the pressing reality of climate change makes this question central to our idea of justice.

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An atmospheric trust to protect the environment for future generations? Reforming global human rights law – by Peter Lawrence

May 1, 2014

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Children Playing

If we take seriously the principle of equality between persons and the importance of the environment for humanity’s collective prosperity, current generations have an ethical obligation to future generations to avoid actions which irreversibly damage the environment or the climate. This is the general argument underpinning Peter Lawrence’s forthcoming book, Justice for Future Generations: Climate Change and International Law (Edward Elgar, April 2014). To transfer this obligation into law, international human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, could be amended to create an ‘atmospheric trust’. This would position current governments as ‘trustees’, holding the environment ‘on trust’ for future generations, and requiring them to take into account the interests of future generations in dealings with the environment.

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