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mið., 12. apr.



Human right to a Healthy Environment

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Human right to a Healthy Environment
Human right to a Healthy Environment

Time & Location

12. apr. 2023, 17:00 – 18:30

Reykjavík, Háskólinn í Reykjavík, Menntavegur 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

About the event

We live in a world suffering from increasing environmental degradation: almost 7 million people across the world, and more than 300.000 in Europe alone, are estimated to die every year due to air pollution. Extreme floods, prolonged heatwaves, wildfires and intensifying droughts are hitting with growing frequency due to climate change, and the world’s brightest scientists have most recently warned us that global, coordinated and urgent action to avoid even more catastrophic impacts from a raise in temperature beyond 1.5°C must be taken in the next decade. Entire ecosystems are collapsing, impacting food security and access to water, decreasing the resilience of communities and leaving an impoverished world to future generations. This triple planetary crisis of pollution, climate change and loss of biodiversity is undeniably a grave human rights crisis.

And yet, under these critical circumstances, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms remains the only regional human rights framework that does not recognize the right to a healthy environment for the people it protects.

At the international level, the United Nations General Assembly recognised the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in July 2022, thus placing the member States of the Council of Europe in a unique situation. The relevant technical body of the Council of Europe (CDDH) has been tasked with exploring the feasibility and added value of potentially binding instruments to protect this right under the Convention.

In this context, several partner organizations and academic scholars working across Europe on matters related to human rights and to environmental governance as well as UN experts have come together to ensure that this important topic can be addressed on the occasion of the Reykjavik Summit - a once-in-a-generation summit of the Council of Europe during which Member States convene to refocus the Council’s mission in the light of today’s threats to democracy and human rights.

The public panel organized at the Reykjavik University on Wednesday 12 April aims to facilitate a discussion on the relevance of the right to a healthy environment under the European human rights framework prior to the Reykjavik Summit. The panelist includes Iceland Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, David Boyd, as well as academic, members of civil society and youth representatives.

The Reykjavik Summit: An Opportunity to promote the Human Right of all Europeans to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

To join the event, please register HERE

Objective of the Reykjavik Event

Raise awareness about the opportunity offered by the Reykjavik Summit to further promote the right to a healthy environment through the European Human Rights Framework - discussing added value and civil society and expert’s hopes for the summit and beyond.

Joint organizers

Reykjavik University, Icelandic Human Rights Center, Iceland Nature Conservation Association, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)


Thursday 12th April, 5-6.30pm GMT


Hybrid event: Room M103 at Reykjavik University or online by REGISTERING HERE


Human Right to a Healthy Environment: why does Europe still lag behind international developments and what could the Reykjavik Summit change?

Wednesday 12th April, 5-6:30pm GMT, Room M103 at Reykjavik University


Facilitation: Snjólaug Árnadóttir, Centre for Law on Climate Change and Sustainability (CLoCCS) of the Reykjavik University

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime minister of Iceland

Vision for the Reykjavik Summit

Prof. David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment - remote

The time is now: recognition and protection of the human right to a healthy environment

Amy Jacobsen, Greenpeace International

Expectations and Vision from European Civil Society

Sébastien Duyck, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

The Time is Now: What Options for Europe?




  • Representative of Finland (tbc)
  • Representative of France (tbc)
  • Jóna Þórey Pétursdóttir, Rettur
  • Baïna Ubushieva, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Interactive discussion with the audience -


Closing Remarks

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