Eco-destruction, Climate Change
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Worldwide Eco-destruction and Climate Change are impacting on the enjoyment of individuals’ ESCRs. Most affected are paradoxically those who, in the first place, counted on little -if any- ESCRs protection. Eco-destruction and Climate Change have, in terms of impact, a number of common features, for instance causing displacement of people, deprivation of livelihoods, and aggravation of health conditions. Eco-destruction and Climate Change -and the implicated human rights violations - bear witness to the fact that governments in many cases not merely fail to conduct due diligence and provide preventive regulation, but also in some cases directly participate in activities that are detrimental to ecosystems and climate and thus to the enjoyment of ESCRs abroad.
ETOs constitute a response and standards concerning both State and third party regulation to close the current gap between the acts, impacts, and corresponding accountability.
The Maastricht Principles reiterate the obligations of States to take deliberate, concrete and targeted steps, separately, and jointly through international cooperation, to create an international enabling environment conducive to the universal fulfilment of ESCRs, including in matters relating to environmental protection (ETOP 29). States must elaborate, interpret and apply relevant international agreements and standards in a manner consistent with their human rights obligations, including those pertaining to environmental protection (ETOP 17). Moreover, States have a duty to regulate to ensure that third parties do no nullify or impair the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, inter alia by administrative, legislative, investigative and adjudicative measures (ETOPs 24, 25).