The Reconstruction of Constitutionalism to Tackle the Climate Crisis

The world is facing an ecological crisis resulting from the excavation and use of fossil fuels on which our economic system is based. This crisis has been called a “man-made crisis”, but greenhouse gas emissions only started to create a problem for the planet when bourgeoisie came to power. Supported by the humanist background, the natural rights theory recognised humans’ fundamental rights and freedoms, protecting bourgeoisie against King’s absolute power. We call this phenomenon constitutionalism. This dramatic change paved the way for our modern democracy. But it also led us to the crisis we are currently facing. Constitutions shall no longer be a refuge of human activities damaging life on the planet. There shall be no right or freedom that causes death or damage to others. Accordingly, constitutionalism, through high courts, must bear a new role as a legal tool to limit states and companies from exploiting nature in order to confront the climate crisis.