Climate Justice

Climate justice recognizes and makes explicit the human cost of climate change.

As important and profound as the impact on the natural world may be – loss of species, loss of habitats, bleached coral reefs, shrinking polar ice and more – there are also big impacts on people. These include access to water and sanitation, housing and homelessness and loss of livelihoods. 

These impacts are not being, and will not be felt equally unless we take a human rights based approach to dealing with the challenge of climate change.


The Commission has been working with the Scottish Government, Parliament and civil society to encourage the development of a human rights based approach to securing climate justice. In September 2017, we submitted our views to a Scottish Government consultation on proposals for a new Climate Change Bill.

Read a speech from Alan Miller which gives an overview of our work on climate justice.

Talks and documents on climate justice

Read Mary Robinson's 2011 Magnusson lecture: "Climate Justice - Challenges and Opportunities" (Mary Robinson was the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 1997-2002).

Read the report of the Working Group on Climate Change and Human Rights to the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, 2012.

Read Professor Alan Miller's 2013 lecture: "From Climate Change to Climate Justice" (Prof Miller was the Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission 2009-15).