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Part III Climate Change—Principles and Emerging Norms Concepts in International Law, Ch.9 Principles and Emerging Norms in International Law: Intra- and Inter-generational Equity

Catherine Redgwell

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law

Edited By: Cinnamon P. Carlarne, Kevin R. Gray, Richard Tarasofsky

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 June 2024

Economic, social, and cultural rights — Natural resources — Climate change — Environmental disputes — Pollution

This chapter considers the climate change regime in the context of intra- and inter-generational equity. The principle of inter-generational equity defines the rights and obligations of present and future generations with respect to the use and enjoyment of natural and cultural resources, inherited by the present generation and to be passed on to future generations in no worse condition than received. In this context, climate change regime accommodates the interests of future generations in a balancing of interests, thereby falling into the field of the two principles. The chapter describes how Article 3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) may be viewed as supporting the legitimate expectation of future generations of equitable access to planetary resources, and the concomitant obligation of the present generation as trustee of these resources to ensure that future options are not unduly constrained.

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