Accessibility Tools

On the Ground

Explore our work with partners, globally and locally, to tackle social and economic injustice using a human rights lens.

GI-ESCR contributed to amicus curiae briefs on climate change before the Inter-American Court

GI-ESCR contributed to amicus curiae briefs on climate change before the Inter-American Court

On 9 January 2023, the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Chile submitted jointly to the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) a request for an advisory opinion under Article 64(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights. The request presented concerns “the scope of State obligations, in their individual and collective dimension, in order to respond to the climate emergency within the framework of international human rights law, paying special attention to the differentiated impacts of this emergency on individuals from diverse regions and population groups, as well as on nature and on human survival on our planet”. The request for the advisory opinion before the IACHR can be found on this link.

This process is a pivotal step forward in clarifying the human rights duties of States within the InterAmerican system while simultaneously advancing international human rights standards in relation to the climate emergency. Considering the relevance of this process, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) joined efforts with partners to submit two amicus curiae briefs to inform the process.

The first amicus curiae brief was presented jointly with six partner organisations, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR), the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, Amazon Watch, Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe para la Democracia (REDLAD), ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression, and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR). The brief analyses the issue of the protection of environmental defenders under human rights law. In particular, it provides the Court with jurisprudence from various regional and international legal authorities, seeking to contribute to the analysis and progressive protection of environmental defenders. Additionally, given the critical role defenders play in addressing the climate emergency, the brief requests the Court to further clarify the relationship between States’ duties to protect environmental defenders and the obligations concerning climate change. This brief, thus, seeks to cover important gaps in legal protection at the regional level providing guidance on crucial matters that the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights should consider in its Advisory Opinion. GI-ESCR contributed to develop the section on the protection of environmental defenders opposing climate mitigation and adaptation projects that are developed in disregard of the rights of local communities.

You may read the amicus curiae brief on the protection of environmental defenders here:

You don't have a pdf plugin, but you can download the pdf file.

The second brief was presented jointly with Ombudsman Energía México (OEM) on the issue of the energy transition and how it relates to human rights. The brief seeks to inform the Court on how human rights can guide energy policies to achieve a just transition to the climate emergency. The brief highlights how human rights, such us the rights to housing and a healthy environment, imply a right to accessing and using energy that is accessible, modern, safe, and sustainable.

Therefore, the transition to renewable energy sources should not be seen solely as a technological substitution but rather as an opportunity to enhance the protection of human rights. In this regard, proper regulation is key to driving this change, ensuring a clean and responsible energy future. Consequently, this brief seeks for the Court to clarify the scope of States’ human rights obligations to achieve a just energy transition. GI-ESCR’s contribution was centred on clarifying the links between energy poverty and gender inequality to encourage the InterAmerican System to address these issues in its advisory opinion.

You may read the amicus curiae brief here:

You don't have a pdf plugin, but you can download the pdf file.

Related Articles


Don´t miss any updates!

Social Media: