Human rights and climate risks for future generations: How moral obligations and the non-discrimination principle can be applied

Main Article Content

Christoph Herrler


From an ethical point of view, preventing the development of conditions that threaten the existence of future generations is a necessity; but to what extent can this argument be made using the language of human rights? I contend in this article that this language can provide us with arguments for extending greater consideration to the risks we may be imposing on future generations and the need for institutional representation of these generations’ interests. The application of a human rights perspective to issues of future concern enables us to formulate obligations to upcoming generations on the part of current ones. Further, I consider how the point in time in which a person is born represents a (morally wrong) ground for discrimination.

Article Details

Author Biography

Christoph Herrler

At the time of writing, Christoph Herrler was a postdoctoral lecturer and researcher at the Chair of Political Philosophy, Political Theory and History of Political Ideas, Institute of Political Science, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. His main research interests are climate ethics, discrimination and human rights.