Thursday, August 21, 2014

Environmental Rights in Constitutions

A lot of countries have constitutional provisions establishing a right to a clean and healthy environment. Which ones? And what language do they use?

A political science and public policy professor has put together information from several sources to create Envirorights Map, an interactive page that answers these questions.

Map of Africa shows which countries have environmental provisions
in their constitutions. Blue marker indicates Kenya,
and pop-up quotes the beginning of relevant provision in
the Constitution of Kenya (2010) with a link for more.
The map has nothing for the United States, since our federal constitution does not have such a provision. Montana's state constitution, though, devotes an entire article to Environment and Natural Resources. And other states also have environmental provisions in their constitutions. See James May & William Romanowicz, Environmental Rights in State Constitutions, in Principles of Constitutional Environmental Law 305 (James R. May ed., 2011). (The link is to the chapter on SSRN. The book is at Classified Stacks (KF3775 .P748 2011). The catalog record lists the chapters, most discussing federal constitutional law.)

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