Today’s Solutions: August 15, 2022

The Paris Agreement is an international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 Parties at COP21. The overarching goal is to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius, and ideally keep it only to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

In a world-first, the supreme court of Brazil has declared that the Paris Agreement is a human rights treaty that must take precedence over national laws. 

The case that led to this ruling, PSB et al. v. Brazil (on Climate Fund), was filed by four political parties (the Workers’ Party, Socialism, and Liberty Party, Brazilian Socialist Party, and Sustainability Network) as a response to the government failing to distribute money from the national Climate Fund (Fundo Clima) since 2019.

The Brazilian government believed that the Climate Fund was not constitutionally protected and should the court interfere, it would violate the country’s separation of powers.

However, in the end, the Supreme Federal Court ruled, “Treaties on environmental law are a type of human rights treaty and, for that reason, enjoy supranational status. There is, therefore, no legally valid option to simply omit to combat climate change.”

Going forward, this means that any laws made by the Brazilian government that goes against the Paris Agreement will be invalid. Violating the Paris Agreement, and therefore the supreme court’s ruling would be seen as a violation of the country’s constitution and human rights.

“The constitutional duty to allocate the funds effectively means that there is a duty to mitigate climate change considering the international commitments under the climate change framework,” explains Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law case chart.

Following the PSB et al. v. Brazil case are two more climate cases: one that argues for implementing the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon, and another arguing that the government is failing to manage the Amazon Fund.

According to Climate Home News, funding for the Amazon has been declining steadily since Jair Bolsonaro became president.

Hopefully, the trend will continue and those championing the issue of climate change will continue to benefit from Brazil’s supreme court rulings. The hope is that this will spur the proper implementation of climate policies throughout the nation and that other countries will soon follow suit.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Chicago pledges to run all city operations with clean energy

As countries large and small struggle with the undeniable impacts of climate change, more and more cities are taking a lead in mapping out strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  One particularly fruitful avenue to ... Read More

Sustainable supersonic jets could soon take to the skies

In 1947, the first supersonic jet took to the skies, with American pilot Chuck Yeager becoming the first to break the sound barrier. To make the technology mainstream, the British and French governments joined forces to ... Read More

This wooden steak knife is three times stronger than steel

Scientists from the University of Maryland may have discovered a more eco-friendly alternative to ceramics and stainless steel for our knives and nails by figuring out how to chemically alter wood so that it can ... Read More

Explorers in China find prehistoric forest hidden in giant sinkhole

At a time when the entire world is concerned with the far-reaching effects of years and years of unchecked deforestation, the astounding discovery of an ancient forest inside an enormous sinkhole in China is welcome ... Read More