Developments at the Boundary between Environmental Constitutionalism and Climate Justice

A growing group of countries now expressly address climate change in their constitutions. Courts from diverse parts of the world are recognizing that governmental inaction in the face of climate change can abridge a right to a healthy climate as implied by an express constitutional right to life or the right to a healthy environment. These trends are likely reflective of an emerging worldwide phase in constitutional litigation.
The paper conceptualizes what has come to called ‘climate justice,’ that is, the social and economic consequences of the disproportionate effect of climate change. It will details the extent to which countries have adopted express constitutional means to address governmental inaction about climate change. It will then reports on how courts have engaged these and associated provisions. We conclude that climate constitutionalism has significant potential for shaping how the rule of law can contribute to climate justice, especially at the domestic level.