This article discusses human rights implications of the market-based mechanisms operationalized under the global climate change regime. It examines greenhouse gas emissions rights created by the Kyoto Protocol and continued by the Paris Agreement. This article discusses implications of these rights for the protection and realization of human rights in the wake of climate change and argues that greenhouse gas emissions rights, as currently constituted, are incompatible with human rights protections. While the Paris Agreement’s recognition of human rights is a significant development, the protection and realization of human rights by states under a free-market approach to climate change remains a challenge. This article calls for allocation of carbon investment rights for developing countries as a means of promoting the climate justice platform identified by human rights proponents, and reducing the economic gulf between developed and developing countries.

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