Rights of Nature:
Redefining Global Climate Solutions & Environmental Protection for
The Rights of Nature: Redefining Global Climate Solutions & Environmental Protection for Systemic Change, Second Edition, demonstrates how Rights of Nature is a systemic solution to the climate crisis.
Catastrophic climate disruption is the direct result of human activities pushing beyond the livable limits of the natural world. A core factor in the current incongruent human/nature relationship is that the dominant, over-extractive global economy fails to sustain and regenerate life. So-called "market-based solutions" at the center of most climate responses rely on two false assumptions: 1) that we can solve climate change by putting a price tag on nature's vital processes and then offset polluting activities; and 2) that we can continue to perpetuate an economic system based on endless extraction and material production on a finite planet.
If we are to exist and even thrive as a species and hopefully return to a healthy and interconnected relationship with the natural world, we will need to redefine "wealth" away from financial accumulation towards regeneration and well-being. To support such a cultural shift will require a new body of human law to codify and implement these values. Rights of Nature provides such an alternative framework, and it is quickly gaining favor, with laws expressed in more than 35 countries in the last 15 years and many others under consideration. Rights of Nature (or Rights of Mother Earth and other terminology) seeks to define legal rights for ecosystems to exist, flourish, and regenerate their natural capacities.
In the Harmony with Nature Report of the Secretary-General 16 of 2019, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated, “Over the last decade, Earth jurisprudence can be seen as the fastest growing legal movement of the twenty-first century,” which includes the Rights of Nature movement as a key contributor.
Recognizing these rights places obligations on humans to live within, rather than as owners of, the natural world, and to protect and replenish the ecosystems upon which our mutual well-being depends. In essence, it is necessary to transform our human relationship with nature from a property-based system to one of reciprocity that includes recognizing ecosystems as rights-bearing entities.