The UN General Assembly recognizes the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human rightReading time : < 1 minute
On July 28th, 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution recognizing the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right for all, by a vote of 161 in favor, 0 against, and 8 abstentions.
This resolution draws on Human Rights Council resolution 48/13 which recognized this right in October 2021.
The reaffirmation by the UN General Assembly, the legislative body of the United Nations, which includes all of its Member States, is a historic victory for environmental protection and a major step towards a human rights-based approach in environmental litigation.
While UNGA resolutions are not legally binding, this resolution is a strong political and symbolic message as it will participate in shaping and strengthening new environmental international norms and catalyzing further environmental and climate action. Environmental protection is now considered as an essential part of human rights protection.
The resolution was only a first step: such recognition must now be combined with strong international implementation mechanisms to fully strengthen environmental protection and protect people’s health and the enjoyment of their other human rights.
The implementation of the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment for all now requires ambitious public policies and new effective international instruments of implementation.
Above all, this resolution could be the foundation for a more comprehensive international text on the right to a healthy environment and other environmental rights..