In 2022, the Brazilian Supreme Court announced a groundbreaking decision in the Climate Fund case. The decision, rendered amidst a challenging political climate, acknowledges the significance of the Paris Agreement within the country’s legal framework. The Court’s ruling established that the executive branch has a constitutional obligation to allocate funds from the Climate Fund for climate change mitigation and adaptation, grounded in the constitutional right to a healthy environment, international rights and commitments, and the principle of separation of powers.

Notably, the Court recognized the Paris Agreement as a human rights treaty, granting it “supranational” status. The implications of the decision are farreaching, including the potential influence on climate litigation cases in Brazil and other jurisdictions that similarly recognize the constitutional right to a healthy environment. However, the lack of visibility of the decision beyond Brazil hinders the advancement and understanding of global climate litigation trends.

This Article aims to address this gap by providing an in-depth analysis of the Climate Fund decision, its implications, and its role in shaping rights-based climate litigation in Brazil and beyond. The Article adopts a comparative perspective to analyze trends in climate litigation, examining the rights and duties recognized by the Brazilian Supreme Court and their broader implications at national, regional, and global levels. It argues that the decision marks the beginning of a new phase in climate litigation in Brazil and establishes critical precedents regarding the interpretation of the Paris Agreement, the human rights duty to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the role of judicial oversight in implementing the agreement. It also sheds light on Brazil’s role as a hub for global climate litigation, showcasing procedural advancements, innovative cases, and influential rulings that have the potential to inspire litigants and courts worldwide.

Tigre, M.A. & Setzer, J. (2024). Human Rights and Climate Change for Climate Litigation in Brazil and Beyond: An Analysis of the Climate Fund Decision. The Georgetown Journal of International Law, 54(4): 1-53.

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