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Climate Change, Economic Development and Human Rights

This course will examine the legal mechanisms and institutions that are currently available, or are proposed, to help the international community confront the widespread impacts of climate change, impacts that will affect not only the global environment, but also economic development and human rights in developing countries. To be effective, the new climate change measures will need to function at the international, national, municipal, corporate and individual levels. However, they will also need to recognize the particular challenges confronting developing countries, many of whose populations are already suffering from extreme poverty, environmental stress (potable water scarcity, deforestation, depletion of marine resources, exploding urban populations) or gross human rights abuses, all conditions that climate change is likely to exacerbate. The course will examine the intersection of these often-competing factors, with particular attention to the roles that lawyers, courts and other national and international institutions can play in mitigating (or adapting to) climate change while preserving (or enhancing) economic development, protecting local and global environments and respecting internationally recognized human rights.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade with pass/fail option. A paper is required which may be used to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement.