Human rights and the new sustainable mechanism of the Paris Agreement: a new opportunity to promote climate justice
In the light of the new era of climate action under the Paris Agreement (PA) and the rights and justice issues raised by climate change-related policies and measures, this paper discusses the integration of a human rights component within the Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM) of the PA. Established in article 6.4, the SDM is essentially a new mitigation mechanism available to all Parties aimed at helping them to achieve and increase their mitigation actions, while fostering sustainable development. Looking back at the experience of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, which bears great resemblance to the SDM, as well as to the human rights concerns raised during its implementation, the integration of human rights considerations into the SDM and its governing rules seems to be necessary to prevent negative outcomes and human rights harms when implemented. The adoption of such rules, consistent with international human rights, could provide an opportunity for State Parties to operationalise the language included in the PA and tackle the climate change challenge, while ensuring respect for human rights.
Keywords: Climate change; Paris Agreement; Human Rights; Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM)