The Right to a Healthy Environment, Part 3: Subnational Consideration of the Right to a Healthy Environment in the U.S.

July 20, 2022 12:00 pm — 1:15 pm
Webinar Only

An ELI Breaking News Public Webinar

Join the Environmental Law Institute, Delaware Law’s Global Environmental Rights Institute, Barry University’s Center for Earth Jurisprudence, the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ), and the ABA Center for Human Rights for a breaking news series of webinars about the right to a healthy environment.

Subnational constitutional recognition of a basic right to a healthy environment recently celebrated its Golden Anniversary. Illinois got there first in 1970. Other states soon followed, led by Pennsylvania in 1971, Massachusetts and Montana in 1972, and Hawai’i in 1978. New York State joined in 2021. No two provisions are the same. These states join 84 countries worldwide that have expressly afforded the right to a healthy environment constitutional protection. The UN Human Rights Council formally and overwhelmingly recognized the right last year. Also last year, the ABA issued a resolution that acknowledged the “right of every human being to dignity and a clean and healthy environment.” The UN General Assembly is due to consider recognizing the right soon. More states are considering whether to amend their constitutions to include environmental rights, including Maryland, New Mexico, and Delaware. What is the case for recognition and what are the concerns?   

In the final installment of this series, a panel of experts in environmental rights and justice will discuss the extent to which states in the U.S. have recognized or might recognize a right to a healthy environment.

Kristine Perry, Staff Attorney, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Todd W. Eddins, Associate Justice, Hawai'i Supreme Court
Mari Margil, Executive Director, Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights
James R. May, Distinguished Professor of Law and Founder, Global Environmental Rights Institute, Widener University Delaware Law School
Clifford Villa, Professor of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law

Any materials will be posted as they are received.
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