The Right to a Healthy Environment in and Beyond the Anthropocene

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The Right to a Healthy Environment in and Beyond the Anthropocene

A European Perspective

9781035300419 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Hendrik Schoukens, Professor, Environmental Law, Centre for Environmental and Energy Law, University of Ghent and Lawyer at the Brussels Bar and Farah Bouquelle, Assistant, Environmental Law, Centre for Environmental and Energy Law, University of Ghent, Belgium
Publication Date: March 2024 ISBN: 978 1 03530 041 9 Extent: 380 pp
In light of the UN General Assembly’s recognition of the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, this erudite book presents in-depth analyses of the concrete operationalization of this right at the regional, national, and international level.

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Critical Acclaim
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In light of the UN General Assembly’s recognition of the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, this erudite book presents in-depth analyses of the concrete operationalization of this right at the regional, national, and international level.

The book delves into the question of how to operationalize a global recognition of the right to a healthy environment in and beyond the Anthropocene, an era characterized by significant heatwaves, droughts, pollution and biodiversity loss. Focusing on the interplay between EU environmental law, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the right to a healthy environment, it presents practical case studies to take stock of contemporary lessons and experiences regarding the application of this right in a European context. Chapters explore both the theoretical foundations and novel paradigms of environmental law, including rights of nature, animal welfare, climate change litigation, and civil disobedience, offering a unique insight into the future directions of the right to a healthy environment in the 21st century.

Scholars and practitioners of environmental law will find this book to be an invaluable resource. Its astute analysis of recent court cases and litigation strategies will appeal to human rights advocates, NGOs, and political organizations invested in enhancing sustainable environmental governance from a human rights perspective.

Critical Acclaim
‘This new book makes a timely, much needed and valuable contribution to clarifying the nature and content of the right to a healthy environment. Leading lawyers and judges in Europe illuminate and elucidate the many facets of the right and the correlative duties. Their mapping of the distinctive features of the right will be invaluable for those who seek guidance in this under-explored territory of the law.’
– Justice Brian Preston, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, Australia

‘This volume of essays provides a wealth of thoughtful and thought-provoking analyses of the human right to a healthy environment at the national, regional, and global levels. It should be carefully read by everyone concerned with environmental protection in Europe and beyond.’
– John H. Knox, Wake Forest University School of Law, US
Contributors
Contributors include: Carole Billiet, Fruzsina Bögös, Farah Bouquelle, Ann Carette, Robert Carnwath, An Cliquet, Peter De Smedt, Kari Kuusiniemi, Laurens Lavrysen, Pierre Lefranc, Frank Maes, Delphine Misonne, Hendrik Schoukens, Jan Theunis, Geert Van Hoorick, Helena F.M.W. Van Rijswick, Elien Verniers,Jianwei Zhang, Meng Zhang












Contents
Contents:

Introduction: the right to a healthy environment revisited as
a necessary leverage point in times of climate crisis in Europe
and beyond? 1
Hendrik Schoukens and Farah Bouquelle

PART I REPOSITIONING THE RIGHT TO
A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT IN
A CHANGING INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT:
OVERARCHING CONCEPTUAL AND LEGAL
QUESTIONS
1 A half-century journey of human rights and the
environment in the international arena: from separation to
integration 34
Meng Zhang
2 Greening the European Convention on Human Rights:
how to determine the substance of environmental human rights? 53
Laurens Lavrysen
3 Strengthening the link between human health and biodiversity 72
An Cliquet and Frank Maes

PART II THE RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
FRAMED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF EU
CLIMATE CHANGE, AIR QUALITY AND
WATER LAW: SHAKING UP THE HABITUAL?
4 The Shell case and the human rights argument in climate
litigation: building the narrative? 94
Carole M. Billiet
5 Healthy air as an obligation of result in the whole
European Union: definitely a matter of time 116
Delphine Misonne
6 The right to water and the right to a healthy environment:
does the Water Framework Directive map out the way ahead? 136
Peter De Smedt and Helena F.M.W. Van Rijswick

PART III NATURE AND ANIMAL WELFARE IN
EUROPE REVISITED: REINTERPRETING
THE RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
BEYOND THE ANTHROPOCENTRIC FRAMEWORK
7 Right to a healthy environment: linking ecocentrism with
anthropocentrism 166
Kari Kuusiniemi
8 Rights of nature in the European Union: a rights-based
approach as an inevitable outcome of increased
environmental protection in the Anthropocene? 184
Hendrik Schoukens
9 Some explorations about extending the right to a healthy
environment to future generations and animals 227
Geert Van Hoorick and Elien Verniers

PART IV CASE STUDIES FROM EUROPE AND
BEYOND: CROSS-POLLINATION OR LIVING
APART TOGETHER?
10 The right to a healthy environment and climate change:
a necessary match? 247
Robert Carnwath
11 China and the right to a healthy environment in the last
decade: practices from an unexpected frontrunner 259
Jianwei Zhang
12 Green constitutionalism in Belgium: the right to a healthy
environment as a principle of non-regression 285
Jan Theunis

PART V CHALLENGES TO ENFORCE THE RIGHT TO
A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: BRIDGING
THE GAP BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE
13 Right to a healthy environment and the remediation of
ecological damage: seeking effective remedies? 304
Ann Carette
14 The role of national courts: does the right to a healthy
environment make a difference to the environment?
Lessons learnt from national court rulings 322
Fruzsina Bögös
15 Civil disobedience for a healthy environment 339
Pierre Lefranc
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