This contribution to the work of the International Law Association’s Study Group on Business and Human Rights considers the relationship between business responsibilities for human rights and climate change. While it is now widely accepted that the adverse effects of climate change undermine the enjoyment of human rights, and that businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights, the relationship between business responsibilities for human rights and climate change is unclear. This paper first considers state duties to protect human rights from climate change harms, including harms arising from business activities, and second, considers how the business responsibility to respect rights might apply to climate harms experienced by the most vulnerable. In conclusion, the paper considers whether human rights violations arising from climate change may be considered salient risks that demand a response that aligns with the 2011 UN Guiding Principles.
Sarah Seck, "Business Responsibilities for Human Rights and Climate Change - A Contribution to the Work of the Study Group on Business and Human Rights of the International Law Association" (2017) [unpublished, archived at Schulich Law Scholars, Dalhousie University].