The Oslo Principles were featured in The Guardian. Read the article here.
It may seem that, in the absence of explicit treaties, states have no legal obligations to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, if emissions continue on their present trajectory, the harms they cause will reach catastrophic proportions, putting the human rights of billions of people in jeopardy. International human rights law is legally binding on states, which are, therefore, not free to continue business as usual. But how much do human rights and other sources of law, in particular tort law, require each state to do to reduce emissions, even in the absence of a specific treaty? A group of legal experts from around the world has answered this question, producing the Oslo Principles, setting out existing obligations regarding the climate, along with a detailed legal Commentary. These documents may help judges decide whether particular governments are in compliance with their legal obligations to address climate change. The principles may also serve many other purposes, for example they may strengthen the bargaining position of poor countries by pointing to far-reaching obligations of wealthy countries.