Visionary Science, Ethics, Law and Action in the Public Interest

Climate Change and Future Generations

Carolyn Raffensperger

By Carolyn Raffensperger

Climate change is driving remarkable innovation and imagination.  Every day brings new information about visionary technologies and science that can slow the increase in atmospheric carbon thereby givng the Earth and future generations a sporting chance.  There are some corresponding innovations in the law that will enable us to carry out our ethical obligations to those most likely to be harmed by deterioration of the atmosphere.  Many of these innovations are taking place outside of traditional environmental law and within the domain of human rights law.

Along with some wonderful human rights lawyers at Harvard and a couple of other law schools, I have been working on creating a legal framework to establish the rights of future generations to a clean and habitable planet. You can see a talk I gave on future generations at a recent conference on human rights and climate change  (at about 27 minutes):

Climate Change and Intergenerational Equity and Ethics from Jennifer Marlow on Vimeo.

I will post some additional written materials that flesh out the future generations framework in days to come.


  1. Green Girl says:

    Global Warming and Climate Change is the biggest environmental issue that we face these days. the long term effects of these environmental changes to a nations economy is quite damaging. there would be a shortage in food supply as well as on water supply too.

  2. Dacnet says:

    Climate Change made the typhoons in the south pacific very destructive. Typhoon Ketsana made a lot of mess in Philippines and Vietnam *

  3. detoxdietguy says:

    recently, there has been some massive flooding in the Philippines and Vietnam which i think is also due to Climate Change. the tropical storms in asia are somewhat getting stronger stronger each year.